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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/18/21

Boone doesn’t commit to keeping Higashioka as Cole’s personal catcher; Yankees announce full list of spring training invites; Frazier anointed as staring left fielder; Yankees aren’t giving up on Andújar yet.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images | Randy Miller: Towards the end of last season and in the playoffs, Kyle Higashioka took over from Gary Sánchez as Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher. Going into the new season, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone didn’t commit to that being the case to start 2021. However, he also didn’t say that Sánchez would definitely catch Cole, and instead left things open and said he’ll do whatever he sees fit.

MLB Trade Rumors | Steve Adams: While we knew of many already, the Yankees officially announced their non-roster spring training invites yesterday. The most interesting new additions to the list were Derek Dietrich and former Yankees’ prospect Nick Goody.

CBS Sports | Katherine Acquavella: Another thing on the agenda on the first day of camp was the anointing of Clint Frazier as the Yankees’ starting left fielder. It’s not exactly a surprise considering that the roster currently looks like, but Boone said last year proved that Frazier was ready for an every day role. However, a potential reunion with Brett Gardner, who got playing time over Frazier in the playoffs last year, wasn’t ruled out.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Even though it’s unclear where he fits in on the current roster, the Yankees aren’t giving up on Miguel Andújar just yet. After an excellent rookie season, Andújar missed most of 2019 due to injury and played just 21 games last year. Boone still believes in his talent, but there isn’t an obvious spot for him in the lineup right now.