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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/1/19

Bryce Harper signs $330-million contract with the Phillies; The 2019 Yankees remember the 1990’s; Miguel Andujar isn’t the only young infielder looking to take a leap on defense; What Clayton Kershaw can learn from CC Sabathia.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports | Randy Miller: Gleyber Torres is just one of the Yankees’ young players looking to improve upon his rookie season. Like his counterpart, Miguel Andujar, Torres appears to be trying to work on his defense to secure that improvement. He cites the import of DJ LeMahieu, a three-time Gold Glove winner, as huge help as he begins a second year at second base. With Torres’ bat already having produced big time, if he can add slick fielding up the middle, he’ll quickly profile as one of the best in baseball at the keystone.

ESPN | Coley Harvey: In light of recent extensions to continue locking up the Yankees’ core, Harvey compares the 2019 Yankees to the Yankees of 1990s. The Bombers of that decade, much like this current team, sought to identify the best talent and find a way to keep in them pinstripes. Except, of course, those Yankees teams of decades past also shopped at the top of the free agent market, a major difference Harvey notes between how the Yankees are currently constructed and how the team came together around the dynasty years. | Brendan Kuty: If you haven’t heard, Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies yesterday. Here, Kuty offers a few thoughts on the deal from the Yankees’ perspective. I’ll add another; after angling for years to duck beneath the luxury tax, and finally succeeding last year, just ahead of a historic free-agent class, the largest guarantee the Yankees handed out on the free market was $39 million, to Zack Britton. Financial Flexibility it is.

LA Times | Andy McCullough: From the Dodgers beat writer, here’s an interesting story about what Clayton Kershaw can learn from CC Sabathia. Like Sabathia, the iconic Dodgers southpaw appears to be physically declining as he ages. Sabathia, of course, has molded into himself into a downright quality starter at the end of his career, through a mixture of hard work, guile, and open-mindedness. “I feel like I can toy with the hitters. I feel like I’m really accomplishing something”, Sabathia said. If Kershaw can learn new ways to get hitters out even with diminished velocity, he can ensure that he’ll continue to reach great heights as his career progresses.