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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/8/18

Masahiro Tanaka followed his heart when deciding not to opt out; PECOTA projections have the Yankees winning the AL East; Joe Girardi joins MLB Network as a studio analyst; Rangers trade Russell Wilson to the Yankees

League Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Four
Hey, I’ve got you!
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees are heading into the 2018 from a position of strength. Brian Cashman may want another starter to compliment his rotation, but it’s not a huge huge necessity. Masahiro Tanaka deciding not to opt out of his contract is a primary reason why. Tanaka felt comfortable in NY and wanted to play with his teammates and friends. That’s what his heart told him. Considering the free agent market this offseason, he probably made the correct decision. Tanaka is looking to improve on his questionable 2017. I am happy to have him back and you should be as well.

Baseball Prospectus: The PECOTA projections were released yesterday and things are looking good for the Bronx Bombers. Joshua Diemert will have more on this later today, but here’s a quick preview. The Yankees are projected to take the AL East and win 96 games. The IGYAR projections have them winning 136 games. They have no basis in anything though, so maybe go with the PECOTA instead.

Newsday | Casey Musarra: The Yankees will be going into the 2018 with a new manager. Their former manager, Joe Girardi, is heading back to television to star in the next season of Game of Thrones. Since that’s a year or so down the road, he will be on MLB Network as a studio analyst. Girardi made sure to bring his binder with him, because why wouldn’t he. Girinder lives on! | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees made another big move yesterday. Brian Cashman acquired second baseman Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations. You may know Russell Wilson from another sport in which he won a Super Bowl ring. The Seattle Seahawks QB always wanted to be a New York Yankee and now, in a small way, he has achieved his dream.

After spring training, Wilson will report to Double-A Trenton. Or to the Meadowlands. We’ll see.