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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/6/20

Judge healing but not fully ready yet; LeMahieu should be a priority in offseason; Chad Green can be a viable late-game option; Boone working with Cole in downtime

2020 New York Yankees Photo Day Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Aaron Judge has been nursing a rib injury ever since spring training opened up, and he’s made significant progress. The right fielder isn’t ready to play yet, but the Yankees are confident that he’s making his way and just needs time. Whether he’s ready in time for a restarted spring training is yet to be determined, but another CT scan in a couple weeks will establish a better timeline for the slugger.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: DJ LeMahieu is one of several key Yankees whose contract ends after the season, but he could arguably be the most important. LeMahieu was undoubtedly the team’s MVP last year, and already outperformed the two-year, $24 million contract he got from the Yankees in the 2018 offseason. LeMahieu will be the headliner in an otherwise shallow second base free agent pool, so locking him down could be crucial.

NY Post | George A. King III: Chad Green had to bounce back from an unfortunate beginning to his 2019 season, but wound up returning just as dominant as he was in 2018. His role, however, had changed from firehose reliever to the designated opener. Now that Dellin Betances is no longer a part of the back of the bullpen, Green could be relied on to become part of the bridge again to Aroldis Chapman.

NY Post | Dan Martin: Aaron Boone probably wasn’t counting on building his working relationship with Gerrit Cole in their backyards, but that’s become the reality. The pair, alongside fellow neighbor Adam Ottavino, have been running throwing sessions and playing catch. Boone isn’t catching their bullpens, because as he says, “I’m not prepared for that,” but the pitchers are getting some good reps in.