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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/24/19

Yankees acquire Mike Tauchman from Rockies; Phillip Diehl thought the trade was a joke; Greg Bird removed from spring lineup; CC Sabathia may begin suspension on Opening Day

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Colorado Rockies Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Yankees and Rockies got together for a last-minute trade on Saturday, sending Phillip Diehl to Colorado in exchange for outfielder Mike Tauchman. The 28-year-old is a career .153/.265/.203 hitter in 69 major-league at-bats. The outfielder did, however, hit to a 153 wRC+ in Triple-A last season. He may break camp with the Yankees, giving them outfield depth as Aaron Hicks sits on the injured list, and Brett Gardner is on the wrong side of 30.

ESPN | Coley Harvey: As for Diehl, he thought the whole trade was an elaborate practical joke. The 24-year-old impressed early in camp, with a 4.50 ERA being a product of the small sample size. “I just love the way this kid competes, and he threw the ball incredibly well,” said Aaron Boone of Diehl. | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees raised eyebrows on Saturday afternoon when the team made a late scratch of Greg Bird in the lineup. Thankfully it was just a precautionary move, with Boone wanting to give the first baseman an extra of day rest. The 26-year-old got hit on the elbow by an errant pitch earlier in the week, and the organization doesn’t want a repeat of the 2017 season’s late-spring injury fiasco. The end of spring training must be the bane of Bird’s existence.

New York Post | George A. King III: Lastly, some housekeeping: CC Sabathia may begin serving his five-game suspension on Opening Day. Major League Baseball suspended Sabathia last September after he retaliated against the Rays in a beanball war, complete with a profanity-laced message. The Yankees may want to have the suspension come early because the first few series feature rebuilding clubs.