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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 04/11/20

Could Grapefruit League’s North division be the new AL East for the Yankees?; Kahnle to represent Bombers in MLB The Show league; predicting the closer of the future; five underappreciated Yankees in the last 20 years

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MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today | Bob Nightengale: MLB is reportedly considering re-arranging the teams as one of the options for a hypothetical season. It would be done with the objective of having teams play at their spring training homes in Florida and Arizona. Clubs would be grouped according to proximity, the report said. The Yankees would be in the Grapefruit League’s North division, paired with the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates. According to Nightengale, squads would play “regular-season games only in those two states and without fans in an effort to reduce travel and minimize risks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.” | Juan Toribio: Tommy Kahnle will represent the Yankees in the “MLB The Show” League, a tournament in which 30 Major League players — one from each team — will play against each other for charity and social distancing awareness. It began on Friday, and will run for nearly three weeks. At that moment, eight players will move on to the postseason. The event will be live streamed on the league’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch) MLB Network’s Twitch site, “MLB The Show” social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), the team’ social media accounts and | Bill Ladson: Aroldis Chapman is locked in as the Yankees’ closer for the foreseeable future, but closers are a volatile position. Eventually the Yankees will have to think about who succeeds Chapman as the man at the end of the ‘pen, but with time on our hands we can ponder about that question today. One possibility is that Devi Garcia — who is currently on track to be a starter — could wind up coming out in relief for the late innings and earn a spot with the big-league team.

SNY | Scott Thompson: The folks at SNY reviewed five Yankees they considered as underappreciated over the last 20 years. Current outfielder Brett Gardner made the list, as did starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reliever Dellin Betances (now with the New York Mets), Johnny Damon and first baseman Jason Giambi.