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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/14/20

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J.A. Happ’s contract option adjusted for 2020 season; Tanaka progressing through concussion protocol; Judge sits out for third straight day

New York Yankees Summer Workouts Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

NY Post | Joel Sherman: J.A. Happ was expected to have a tough task meeting his requirements to trigger his 2021 vesting option. The 37-year-old righty needed to start 27 game or pitch 165 innings in order to activate a $17 million contract for next year. Now, after MLB has ruled that all vesting options will be activated on pro-rated targets, Happ needs to start just 10 games or pitch 61.1 innings to earn the add-on. While it’s a similar goal, the lack of minor-league games and a shortened season likely means that if Happ starts the year in the rotation, he’ll stay there and have a good chance to meet the qualifications.

Update: Per Sherman, it sounds like Happ and the Yankees are renegotiating the vesting option, the terms of which are now unclear. If the details become public, we will update this post accordingly.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Masahiro Tanaka avoided catastrophe when he walked off the field under his own power after being drilled in the head with a line drive. Now, he’s making progress through the league’s concussion protocol and has a potential throw date set by Aaron Boone. There is a tight window for Tanaka to get back without missing any time however, as his turn in the rotation is roughly two weeks away.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Aaron Judge didn’t take the field while reporters were there, but Boone said that the slugger took some cuts in the batting cage and that he’s displayed a “better range of motion” in his neck, which has held him out for three days of practice. Boone called it a good step forward for Judge, but it’s still unclear when he’ll be back in the lineup for the intrasquad and exhibition games.