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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/7/19

Who could take the Opening Day start; CC likely to start the year on the IL; The Yankees could utilize the opener during the start of the season; Why the Rockies didn’t re-sign LeMahieu

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
The Big Maple could wind up getting the nod for Opening Day
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: With Luis Severino down for the beginning of the season, the Yankees are suddenly looking at a hole where they penciled in their Opening Day starter. It will be up to Aaron Boone to make the decision to replace Sevy with one of the following pitchers: James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, or J.A. Happ. All three have some merit, and ultimately, the Yankees should be comfortable trotting out one of them for the job. | Bryan Hoch: Unfortunately, Severino isn’t the only starter the Yankees will be without to start 2019. CC Sabathia, who already would’ve missed the first run through the rotation thanks to a five-game suspension stemming from the end of last season, will likely miss the first two weeks this year and be placed on the IR. If you’re curious, the suspension won’t start until CC is on the active roster, so he’ll have to go through IR, then sit for five games, then be ready to pitch.

ESPN | Coley Harvey: That being said, the Yankees are two starters down for a non-insignificant period right out of the gate. They’ll have to be flexible with the early conditioning of their arms to get through games. One strategy the team may employ is using an opener, or at least some version of it. Aaron Boone didn’t get into specifics on this, but did say that it was something he was considering, and would likely use from time to time.

NY Post | Joel Sherman: There are a few free agents still scattered around looking for a team, and thus far haven’t garnered interest, even from their former teams. The Yankees signed one of those players earlier in the year, nabbing DJ LeMahieu away from Colorado, who hadn’t shown much of an attempt to bring him back. According to the Rockies’ GM Jeff Bridich however, this lack of interest wasn’t a sign that LeMahieu was damaged goods. Rather, the Rockies prioritized spending the money that could’ve gone to LeMahieu in signing Daniel Murphy and did not have enough to sign both players.