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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 1/31/21

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Didi Gregorius returns to Phillies; Masahiro Tanaka doesn’t rule out MLB return, wanted to stay in New York; Yankees seem ready to give Clint Frazier extended playing time in 2021.

Divisional Series - Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

ESPN: There was virtually no chance that former fan-favorite Didi Gregorius would reunite with the Yankees this offseason, but now there is certainly no shot, with the former Yankee shortstop signing back on with the Phillies on a two-year, $28 million deal following his shortened stint with Philadelphia in 2020.

The Yankees already brought back DJ LeMahieu for the infield, making a Gregorius reunion highly unlikely. Even so, it still serves as a bummer for Yankees fans who were hoping for the return of postgame victory tweets. Now without Gregorius and Masahiro Tanaka, who will be left to tweet after games?!

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: Speaking of Tanaka, who has returned to his former team in Japan, the former Yankee pitcher made some interesting comments in an introductory press conference on Saturday. He hinted at a possible return to MLB following his two-year deal with Rakuten, and also seemed to confirm that he wanted to come back to the Yankees, but that after awhile, it became clear that the Yanks were moving in a different direction. With the rotation looking the way it does, with still plenty of question marks even after acquiring Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon, Tanaka would have been extremely helpful to have around.

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees still need to shore up their outfield, and many would assume that will be addressed by bringing back Brett Gardner for yet another season. But even if Gardner comes back, Brian Cashman seems ready to finally give Clint Frazier extended playing time in the outfield. After a strong 2020 that ended with Frazier frustratingly benched in key playoff spots, 2021 could finally be the year that we get a strong sample size of Frazier, and see what he can do with consistent plate appearances.