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Around the Empire: Yankees news — 7/12/2020

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman tests positive; Zack Britton comments on negotiations; an interview with the Rays’ front office; conflicts on the YES Network between Yankees and Nets games

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN | Marly Rivera: Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple reports, putting the Yankees at three total positive tests. Chapman has mild symptoms, but is “doing well,” according to manager Aaron Boone. Even so, however, he will be away from the team for “the foreseeable future.” A positive test was inevitable, but still, this is distressing news. | Chris Ryan: Speaking of COVID-19, many players throughout the league have remained discontent with the league’s handling of negotiations, especially in light of Rob Manfred’s comments that there were never going to be more than 60 games anyway. Zack Britton echoed these concerns, noting that, although Manfred’s comments were taken out of context, they nonetheless “added fuel to the fire,” especially since it took the league three months “to finally agree to the agreement we already agreed to in March.”

Furthermore, he notes that the biggest concern of the players was never about money, but rather about safety protocols, although he expresses confidence that the Yankees have gone above and beyond the protocols to keep everybody safe. With the news that Chapman tested positive, let’s hope that he is right.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: The shortened 2020 season, if it occurs, will feature a larger percentage of games against the Tampa Bay Rays than a normal season. That is an added challenge for the Yankees, as the Rays have, in recent years, become the ultimate David in a division filled with Goliaths. In an interview with Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Rays president Matt Silverman and general manager Erik Neander discuss how their organization embraces their status. | Mike Rosenstein: ESPN’s Buster Olney ranks Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu as the best second baseman in baseball, above Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers. LeMahieu’s 136 wRC+ ranks as the third-best among second basemen in 2019, and his swing-and-miss rate was the lowest among all hitters who qualified for the batting title.

Forbes | Shlomo Sprung: Typically, conflicts between the Yankees and Nets on the YES Network do not generally occur outside the month of April; for obvious reasons, this season is an exception. Furthermore, additional conflicts with the New York Liberty and the NYCFC may occur when their schedules are released. As always, the Yankees will take precedence over the Nets, despite the fact that the Nets will be playing games with playoff implications pretty much immediately; they will, however, work to have any conflicts broadcast on subsidiary networks. Details, however, are to be determined.