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

Gonzalez agrees to MiLB deal; Roster spots still up for grabs; Ellsbury “alive”; Chapman’s slider; Team’s first base situation

MLB: NLCS-Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers
MFW I can only get a MiLB deal
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: The Yankees finally got the starting pitching depth they desperately needed. The team agreed to a minor-league deal with lefty Gio Gonzalez. He provides some much needed depth to a depleted rotation, but he’ll probably need a good amount of time to get caught up to speed. He also has an opt-out on April 20th. Nice. | Zak Kerr: Speaking of that depleted rotation, the Yankees have two spots in the rotation they don’t know how they’ll fill. Aaron Boone wants to carry 13 pitchers, but he’s not sure who they’ll bring north with them. The last spot in the bullpen is also up for grabs. | Brendan Kuty: On the topic of injuries, Jacoby Ellsbury reported to camp yesterday. Ellsbury said “he expects to return but doesn’t know when it’ll happen.” He’s going to start the season on the injured list and wants to come back as soon as possible, but no one has any idea when that’ll be. My guess is Old Timer’s Day 2022.

FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: Speaking of people that shouldn’t have a contract with the Yankees, Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is obviously known for his fastball, after all he has a banner, but he reinvented himself last year. He’s come out with a new slider and it turns out it may be one of the best in baseball.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: This piece looks at every team’s first base situation and ranks them by WAR. The Yankees come in 10th place with Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu (played the position four times in eight years and none in the last four), Greg Bird, and Miguel Andujar (lol). Hopefully Voit can continue his emergence as Babe Ruth and Bird can find himself and maybe the Yankees will exceed expectations.