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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/24/19

Yankees hire first female hitting instructor; Zack Granite provides outfield depth; sign-stealing investigation reaches players

League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Yahoo | Eric He: The New York Yankees have hired Rachel Balkovec to serve as a rovering minor league hitting instructor, believed to be the first female hitting coach in Major League history. Balkovec, who has two masters degrees and has worked as a strength and conditioning coach for the Houston Astros farm teams, will be one of only a handful of women coaching at all in professional baseball in 2020.

New York Post | George A. King III: In order to make their outfield depth rock solid after losing Aaron Hicks to injury and the current free agent status of Brett Gardner, the Yankees signed local Zack Granite to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. The 27-year-old Granite, who graduated from Tottenville High School in Staten Island and Seton Hall, has not played in the Major Leagues since 2017, when he made his MLB debut and played 40 games for the Minnesota Twins.

ESPN | Jeff Passan: Outside of New York, as part of Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation into electronic sign-stealing, the league has begun interviewing players associated with the Houston Astros in recent years, allegedly offering leniency from punishment in exchange for information confirming an organized sign-stealing scheme. While the investigation has, so far, been limited to the Houston Astros, it remains to be seen just how widespread this scandal could become.