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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/10/20

Team signs Iannetta; Arbitration will be costly; A bizarre lawsuit involving Derek Jeter and the Yankees

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

New York Post: After losing Austin Romine, the Yankees will likely entrust Kyle Higashioka with the team’s backup catcher job, but a little competition doesn’t hurt. The team already signed Erik Kratz to a minor-league deal, and added Chris Iannetta on another minor-league deal yesterday. Iannetta, 36, is a 14-year MLB veteran, and can at least provide some insurance for the Yankees’ catching depth.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Yankees have had the benefit of several easy arbitration periods the last few years, but Brian Cashman and co. are going to have to open up their pocket books this winter. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will be arbitration-eligible for the first time, and are projected to cost a combined $12 million, which is still a major bargain. Elsewhere, James Paxton is due for a big raise in his final year of team control, while Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green and Luis Cessa can also expect bumps in their pay. | Brendan Kuty: OK, this one’s out of left field. Garrison Lassiter, a one-time Yankees prospect who never made it higher than Single-A, sued the Yankees in 2018 for $34 million for stalling his career advancement by – get this – protecting the career of Derek Jeter. That’s right, the team’s blind faith to first-ballot Hall of Famer Derek Jeter is the reason a guy who slashed .244/.326/.302 in the low minors never made it above Single-A. There’s some great tidbits in the suit, which was dismissed in May.