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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/29/20

Another plan to organize the MLB season; Ottavino hones his craft; What Hicks must do to keep center-field job

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2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

USA Today | Bob Nightengale: Your daily MLB realignment plan has arrived. Today’s edition features executives who told Nightengale that the league is considering implementing three geographic regions, rather than the traditional American League/National League breakdown. In this plan, which could begin as soon as late June, the Yankees might play in a division with the Mets, the Red Sox, and Phillies, to name a few.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Adam Ottavino loves to tinker with his pitches. He approaches his craft with a scientific meticulously. He’s kept that attitude since the shutdown began. “You know baseball is one of the things you can always be working on something and every time I play catch to try to do with a purpose and try to get incrementally better,” the right-hander explained. Ottavino, 34, pitched to a 1.90 ERA (3.44 FIP) across 66.1 innings in pinstripes last year.

Newsday | Erik Boland: Aaron Hicks figured to miss the first half of the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Now, however, he could serve as the team’s Opening Day center fielder. Boland dives into the team’s current alternative: namely Brett Gardner, as well as a minor-league option in Estevan Florial. The club’s best bet, however, remains Hicks.