Yankees pitchers and catchers report to spring training tomorrow, but Tampa is already buzzing with action. A significant number of players are in camp early, participating in workouts and meeting with the media. Here are a few items that caught our eye:
Aaron Judge, Luke Voit take batting practice
.@TheJudge44’s first round of BP at #Yankees camp: pic.twitter.com/dxdTVEz29f— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 11, 2019
Like Voit taking some BP pic.twitter.com/2vRp4wo6rW— Erik Boland (@eboland11) February 12, 2019
We have real life, actual baseball activities here. After a long offseason, I will take all the iPhone-quality videos of batting practice I can find. Judge will look for a healthy season. At this point he has an All-Star floor with MVP upside, so just avoid a freak injury like last year and watch him rake. Voit, meanwhile, hopes to show he wasn’t a flash in the pan and can hold down the first base job in the Bronx.
Masahiro Tanaka thinks Yankees had a strong offseason
Tanaka arrived to camp today, greeting the assembled media and signing autographs for fans. The right-hander thinks he can get ahead of the game this season thanks to an adjusted winter training regimen.
After working out at the Yankees' complex in Tampa today, Masahiro Tanaka said through a translator he felt "ahead of schedule" this year because he was able to train in a warmer climate than normal this offseason. He's been throwing earlier than usual pic.twitter.com/3JGZkqcmZs— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) February 12, 2019
Additionally, Tanaka explained to Coley Harvey that he thinks the Yankees are “obviously a better team” after the offseason moves. The Bombers had an active winter, trading for James Paxton and signing the likes of DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki, and Adam Ottavino. They also brought back Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, and Zack Britton. It would have been nice to splurge on an elite free agent instead of spreading the wealth among secondary targets. Nevertheless, Tanaka thinks they did enough.
Britton had opportunity to close elsewhere
.@zbritton says that he could have closed elsewhere, but the @Yankees offered his best chance to win a #WorldSeries. pic.twitter.com/NXQeikkyFM— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 11, 2019
It was a big week for Britton, who informed the media that first name is actually Zack and he had offers to close before signing with the Yankees:
“You know, playing against the Yankees for seven years in Baltimore, I think I knew that they were going to build a winner. So, you always had a chance to win a World Series. And I think at this stage of my career, and the options I had out there, I could have gone and closed for a bunch of teams. But I felt like this was probably the team closest to winning the World Series. So that was the biggest draw.”