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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/30/18

Yankees still scouting available starters, including Chris Archer and Zack Wheeler; Happ wins Bronx debut; Yanks, No. 9-rated international prospect agree to deal; Luis Severino’s struggles underscore Happ’s importance; Aaron Hicks looks like he belongs at cleanup.

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Luis Severino got tagged for six runs on eight hits on Saturday, lasting only 4.1 innings. This marked the first time in his career that Severino allowed six earned runs in consecutive starts. It was also his fourth straight sub-par outing, a stretch that has seen the righty’s ERA balloon from a league-leading 1.98 to 2.94. Sevy allowed 19 earned runs in 19.1 innings over that stretch for an 8.84 ERA, and he coughed up seven home runs in those four starts.

While the continued struggles of New York’s ace underscore J.A. Happ’s importance, Ackert reports that the Yankees were still scouting available starters this weekend. The club has remained in touch with Tampa Bay regarding Chris Archer, while the Rays are scouting Justus Sheffield. According to Mark Feinsand of, the Yankees are one of at least six teams still interested in the Mets’ Zack Wheeler.

YES Network | Field level media: After winning his Bronx debut, Happ talked about having a lot of adrenaline taking the mound in the first inning. He praised Austin Romine, and attributed the quick trust established with his catcher to conversations the two had before the game. Happ acknowledged feeling pressure to produce immediately after being traded, but said he had “a lot of fun” on the field. He also praised the team’s defense and “shutdown” relievers.

”It was kinda weird looking down and seeing the pinstripes on me, but I’m happy to get used to it,” beamed Happ after the game. | Mandy Bell: After piling up $2.5 million in international signing bonus pool money over a 24-hour period, the Yankees agreed to a deal with number-nine rated international prospect Osiel Rodriguez. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound, 16-year-old right-hander from Cuba has had his fastball clocked at 97 mph. According to MLB Pipeline, Rodriguez is a strike-thrower who “changes his arm slot and throws several different pitches at different angles, which has proven to be both a blessing and a curse as far as scouts are concerned.”

The Yankees set the stage for this signing by executing a pair of trades this weekend. First they sent Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos to the Cardinals in exchange for first baseman Luke Voit and $1 million in international signing bonus pool money. Then Ninja Cash traded minor-league southpaw Caleb Frare to the White Sox for $1.5 million in bonus pool money.

New York Post | Zach Braziller: In four games batting cleanup, Hicks is 6-for-11 with five RBIs, seven runs scored, and six walks. Braziller reports that Hicks has a simple approach.

“I’m just trying to get the ball in the air. It’s essentially what it is,” Hicks said. “It’s actually been helping me to not swing at pitches down in the zone for swings and misses. It definitely started last year. It’s been working.”

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