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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/22/18

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A list of 20 players that can shape the AL East race; Cashman states that the Red Sox are still the team to beat; Drury expected to compete for third base; Aaron Judge gives young fan a birthday shoutout; another silly idea to change baseball

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
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MLB.com | Will Leitch: The AL East is beginning to shape up. The Yankees and Red Sox look like the clear leaders of the division. The Blue Jays haven’t had a terrible offseason. The Orioles pitching is questionable. The Rays are making the Marlins look like geniuses. This article contains a list of 20 players that will shape the AL East race in 2018. You can probably guess who #1 on that list is.

Newsday | Erik Boland: Our hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, recently acquired JD Martinez to fill their power gap since losing David Ortiz. While it looks like the Yankees have the better offense and better bullpen and better looking uniforms, Brian Cashman stated that the Yankees are not on equal footing with them. Until the Yankees win the division, the Red Sox are still defending AL East champs. I, for one, think the Yankees should crush them.

MLB.com | J. Scott Butherus: On Tuesday, the Yankees traded for Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cashman has been looking at Drury for years and well, Cashman gets what he wants a lot. Yesterday, Cashman confirmed that the initial plan is for Drury to play third base. They still believe his versatility could serve the Yankees well. This does make it seem like the second base job is Gleyber Torres’ to lose.

Cut4 | Chris Landers: Aaron Judge is pretty awesome. You know this. We all know this. During workouts yesterday, he gave a kid a birthday shoutout because he is just the best. If it were possible to hit a birthday dinger for him, I’m sure he would have. Heck, he could have even promised him two.

CBS New York: In our continued coverage of baseball trying to appeal to people who have zero interest in baseball, we have a new entry. According to Rich Eisen, who knows an MLB executive, baseball officials have discussed an idea of letting a trailing team in the 9th just select whichever batter they wanted to come up to the plate. Uh huh.