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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/15/19

What if the Yankees signed Bryce Harper?; Aaron Boone feeling good about Gary Sanchez; Miguel Andujar to work “entirely” at third base this spring; Yankees to bring Troy Tulowitzki along slowly this spring.

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Andrew Simon: The Yankees remain a long-shot to sign either of the superstar free agents on the market, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Still, it’s fun to speculate about what it would look like if the team reeled in a big fish. Simon runs down what the major effects would be if the Yankees took the plunge and acquired Harper, ranging from the short-term impact on the Yankees’ playoff chances, to the long-term ramifications.

ESPN | Coley Harvey: Manager Aaron Boone recently visited Gary Sanchez and his wife in the Dominican Republic and apparently had encouraging conversations with the young catcher. Sanchez is coming off a difficult season, one in which his offense cratered and his defense remained uneven. Boone says Sanchez sounds hungry, with a desire to improve and live up to his bountiful potential. | Randy Miller: Miller highlights what might be one of the spring’s more interesting story-lines: Miguel Andujar’s defense. The Yankees will not consider moving Andujar around the diamond at camp according to Boone, and will have him take his reps entirely at third base, rather than see what he looks like at first base or left field. Eyes will be on Andujar to see if his defense has improved at the hot corner, with reports that he’s spent the offseason working on his fielding.

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees will bring Troy Tulowitzki along slowly and monitor him closely this spring, Martin reports. Boone stated “We feel optimistic with what Troy is gonna bring. We’ll try to protect him in spring training.” It sounds like the Yankees will have a plan to try to get Tulowitzki to Opening Day completely healthy, though it certainly doesn’t seem great that the Yankees’ starting shortstop must be so highly protected so early on.