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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/14/18

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Torres optioned to Triple-A; Judge, Bird, others agree on salaries; CC enjoying late-career resurgence; Imagining if Cano never left

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
“They may have sent me down for now, but at least it’s not the Mets”
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: When the Yankees signed Neil Walker to a one-year deal, it was all but finalized that the second base competition was over. The next domino to fall happened yesterday. Top prospect Gleyber Torres was optioned to Triple-A after struggling so far this spring. Torres said he understands and that he’s just going to continue to work so he’s ready when the next opportunity presents itself. Aaron Boone said Torres just needs to get his reps and the hits will come.

New York Daily News | Peter Botte: If the Yankees decided to pay Aaron Judge per home run, it looks like the going rate is $12,000. Judge agreed to a contract worth $622,300 for the 2018 season, which is a raise from his 2017 salary of $544,500. Judge isn’t arbitration-eligible until after the 2019 season. Greg Bird ($582,000), Luis Severino ($604,975), Jordan Montgomery ($580,450), and Tyler Austin ($558,600) also agreed to new one-year deals. | Bryan Hoch: CC Sabathia got the ball at the start of the Yankees 2-2 tie with the Tigers yesterday. Sabathia pitched four innings of one-run ball and said he’s been enjoying this late-career renaissance. Instead of just challenging hitters by blowing fast balls past them, he now has to be methodical and strategic and it’s fun for Sabathia. As Aaron Boone noted, a few years ago there was a question as to whether Sabathia would be able to transition as a pitcher and it looks like he has.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Imagine if the Yankees weren’t awful and actually tried negotiating with Robinson Cano? We can’t know for sure, but they might’ve been able to agree to a deal that would’ve made both parties happy. If that happens, the Yankees probably wouldn’t be stuck with Jacoby Ellsbury right now, and they might not have signed Brian McCann (though maybe they still do). It’s both fun and upsetting to think about what this lineup would look like with Cano. Sigh. I’m not crying, you are. And so is Kento.