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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 02/06/20

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There will be an “open competition” for the Yankees’ fifth starter spot after Paxton’s surgery; Steinbrenner is eager to leave the Astros scandal behind; Gleyber is focused on winning a title; Red Sox may have waved the white flag

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Left-handed pitcher James Paxton will miss the start of the season after undergoing a microscopic lumbar discectomy on Wednesday. The Yankees expect him to be sidelined somewhere around three to four months. According to general manager Brian Cashman, there will be several names in an “open competition” for the fifth starter spot. Jordan Montgomery, Mike King, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa and Deivi Garcia were mentioned as the primary candidates for the job. J.A. Happ was recently appointed as a member of the rotation. Now, he will move up a spot.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ principal owner, is ready to leave the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal behind. While he admits that when the reports came out he was as upset as the rest of the fanbase, Steinbrenner wants to focus on his team’s loaded roster and the season ahead. Steinbrenner is excited about the pathway for the Yankees’ World Series push in 2020, and is encouraged by the team’s improvements compared to several other contenders taking a step back.

NY Post | Zach Braziller: Gleyber Torres, one of the Yankees and MLB’s biggest growing stars, is a man on a mission. He doesn’t need “hits or homers, or anything about me,” but he just want to “win the World Series.” The infielder actually started his training regime earlier this time around. “[I’m] excited,” he said. “I’m really comfortable at second base, too. I learned a lot about that position, but I’m back to my position. I feel more comfortable. I don’t feel pressure in anything. I just want to play my game and try to win games.” Regarding the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, the Venezuelan didn’t want to go into much detail but said: “I think it’s a really bad thing for them.”

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Yes, as incredible as it sounds, the Boston Red Sox decided to trade their franchise player and best homegrown talent in years, Mookie Betts. They flipped him to the Los Angeles Dodgers alongside David Price, with the Minnesota Twins also involved. Brendan Kuty wonders whether the Sox waved the white flag and handed the AL East division to the Yankees.