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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/17/21

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Hicks still planning on Winter Ball; Cubs hire Yanks minor league pitching coach; Gio accepts award for charity work; A-Rod receives fine for violating NBA rules

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks expressed a desire to play Winter Ball this offseason in his recovery from May surgery on his left wrist to repair a torn tendon sheath. Manager Aaron Boone said that Hicks remains “in position” to do so, and the team will keep tabs on his rehab before giving a “final sign-off” in a few weeks. Hicks has four years and $40 million remaining on the contract extension that the Yankees offered him before the 2019 season. Since then, he has played just 145 games across those three MLB seasons, albeit with the middle one shortened by circumstances beyond his control. The purpose of Hicks playing Winter Ball is to ensure that he’s healthy and ready to play in 2022.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: This was noted the other day with the Luis Rojas news, but it’s worth its own item in the roundup. Earlier this week, the Chicago Cubs announced that they’ve hired Daniel Moskos to serve as the team’s assistant pitching coach. In light of his new job, Moskos will be leaving his Yankees post as pitching coach for the Double-A Somerset Patriots. Moskos played an instrumental role in the Patriots’ success this season, as Somerset pitchers led the league with a 3.38 ERA, .212 opponent batting average and 1.16 WHIP. Moskos joined the Yankees’ organization in 2020 as pitching coach for Low-A Charleston.

Before joining the Yankees, Moskos worked as an instructor for Driveline baseball, the Seattle-based training center frequented by elite athletes. He was also once the No. 4 overall pick in the MLB Draft, selected by the Pirates in 2007, though he only made it into 31 games at the big league level in 2011.

NorthJersey.com | Pete Caldera: On Tuesday, Gio Urshela accepted the Health Ambassador award from Hackensack University Medical Center. The Medical Center presented the award to Urshela in recognition of his charity work for kids battling cancer in the hospital’s children’s wing. For this kind of humanitarian work, Urshela was also a recipient of the 2021 Thurman Munson Award. The hospital’s CEO said Urshela dedicates an enormous amount of time toward working with kids being treated at the medical center’s children’s wing, and that Urshela’s presence lifts patients’ spirits.

NJ Advance Media | Mike Rosenstein: The Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA team of which former Yankee Alex Rodriguez is a minority owner, has been fined $250,000 for violating a league rules that prohibits teams from arranging or paying for offseason practice sessions for their players in a location that is outside that NBA team’s home market. In other words, the Timberwolves cannot finance any team activity taking place in a locale outside the Twin Cities. In this case, the Timberwolves recently participated in a workout and had dinner at A-Rod’s house in Miami. The NBA learned about the gathering in Miami because players posted pictures of it across social media.