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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/25/20

Miguel Andujar will try first base and left field in spring training; Cashman still confident in J.A. Happ; Stanton bench presses a supermodel and is projected for 50 home runs next season

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at St. Louis Cardinals Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports | Randy Miller: Brian Cashman has made it clear this offseason that the third base position belongs to Gio Urshela until further notice. Aaron Boone spent some time last week in the Dominican Republic, and informed Miguel Andujar to come to spring training ready to get some work in at first base and left field. “He can go to Triple-A, but is there a role on the major league club in a different capacity? That bat is special. His makeup is off the chart,” Brian Cashman said. The Yankees would obviously love to get Andujar’s bat in the lineup however possible, and it appears versatility is going to be key for the 24-year-old slugger to stay out of Triple-A.

NY Post | Dan Martin: There’s been a lot of speculation that the Yankees would look to trade J.A. Happ after a disappointing first full season in the Bronx. With Gerrit Cole on board and Jordan Montgomery back in the fold, it makes a lot of sense for the Yankees to trim payroll by dealing Happ. However, Cashman maintains that he envisions Happ as the fifth starter to begin the season, and he believes he’s in for a bounce back 2020 campaign. If Happ pitches 165 innings or makes 27 starts this year, he will earn another $17 million for the 2021 season. | Mike Rosenstein: Giancarlo Stanton usually makes headlines with an offseason workout or two, but he outdid himself this time. Stanton’s trainer posted a viral video of him bench pressing supermodel Adriana Lima at the gym earlier this week. The good news here is that Stanton appears to be recovered from the left biceps strain and left shoulder strain that hampered his 2019 season, in which he played only 18 regular season games. Yankees position players report to spring training in just a few short weeks, and Stanton looks ready to go. | Andrew Simon: Fangraphs’ Steamer projections are always a fun way to look ahead at the upcoming MLB season. If this year’s projections are accurate, Stanton is in for a monster season. Steamer projects Stanton to bat .268/.355/.590 with a 143 wRC+ and a league leading 50 home runs in 143 games. Needless to say, the Yankees would benefit greatly from that added production this season.