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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/29/2020

Andy Pettitte’s Hall case; Yankees sign Thole; looking back at Kevin Maas and Chase Headley

2019 ALCS Game 3 - Houston Astros v. New York Yankees Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

FanGraphs | Ben Lindbergh: Andy Pettitte has toiled around 10% of the vote in his first two seasons on the Hall of Fame ballot, but podcasters Lindbergh and ESPN’s Sam Miller make an argument that he’s worth a much closer look. The longtime Yankee lefthander has a terrific postseason resume along with classic counting stats, and may not be as far off as some think.

TSN: The search for Yankee catching depth continues, as the team signed former knuckleball specialist Josh Thole to a minor-league deal. With Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka destined to start the season on the 26-man roster, Thole will compete with Erik Kratz and Chris Ianetta to be the “next man up” in case of injury. | Bryan Hoch: 2020 will mark thirty years since Kevin Maas made his MLB debut, becoming a Yankee cult hero in June and July 1990. Maas, who clubbed 10 HR in his first 77 at-bats, is now a financial manager, but will always have a claim to (brief) fame for one summer in the Bronx.

Beyond the Box Score | Luis Torres: This last one is personal for me, as BtBS reflects on the 2014 trade that sent Chase Headley to the Yankees. I think we all have one or two meh players that we irrationally like, and for me, Headley was one, largely because he put up a prorated six win season over his first two months in New York. The Yankees rewarded him with a 4 year, $52 million deal the following winter.