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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/2/19

What will decide the ALDS; Is Gregorius playing for a contract this postseason?; Yankees who might not be back next year; Sabathia and Gardner’s unlikely friendship

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated | Michael Shapiro: The Yankees and Twins kick off their ALDS series this Friday, and Michael Shapiro’s determined three key factors that will likely decide the series. I won’t give too much away, but suffice it to say, homers are definitely going to play a role. The Twins and Yankees finished first and second respectively in team home runs in 2019.

NY Post | Joel Sherman: Not even a full calendar year ago, Didi Gregorius seemed like a lock for an extension. Then the 2019 season happened. DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela greatly exceeded expectations in the Yankees’ infield, and Gleyber Torres took another step towards superstardom. On top of that, Didi posted an 84 wRC+, his lowest mark since taking over for the Captain. He might need a strong showing in the playoffs to keep his job in 2020. | Randy Miller: Speaking of Yankees who might not be back, there are at least 12 other Yankees from the 2019 squad that could possibly be on different teams next season. Miller breaks down the odds on possibly-gone Yankees from Miguel Andujar to Dellin Betances to Austin Romine.

NY Post | George King: One of the strongest, perhaps most unlikely friendships on the Yankees is between Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia. We know CC is headed for retirement at season’s end, but Gardy is on the last year of his deal too. The two lone holdovers from the 2009 World Series could both see an end to their respective tenures in New York end this month. Check this one out for a feel good story.