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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/3/21

Yankees attend Yoenis Céspedes showcase; Triple-A season will be delayed; Updates on Chad Green, Domingo Germán and Gio Urshela; Re-evaluating the AL East

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: Yoenis Céspedes has been a punchline for the last few years, due to his strange personal and injury-related absences that may or may not have involved a wild boar and a ditch in the ground. However, he’s attempting another MLB comeback, and the Yankees were surprisingly among 11 teams there to watch Céspedes. There doesn’t appear to be much of a fit on the current roster or clubhouse, but it can’t hurt to see if he has anything left.

ESPN | Jeff Passan: Minor league baseball was set to return to a relatively normal schedule this year, but the beginning of the Triple-A season has now been delayed to May, when the rest of the primary minor leagues will also return. Instead, this marks the return of the “alternate site” for the first month of the MLB season (the Yankees’ such setup is in Scranton, which confirmed the change and a May 4th Opening Day). The hope is that more minor leaguers can be vaccinated before the season begins, and the minor league season would then end in late September instead of the usual Labor Day finish line. | Randy Miller: In the press conference roundup, we learned that the Yankees are delaying Chad Green’s spring debut, although Aaron Boone did not seem to indicate that it was because of an injury. We also found out when some veteran Yankees will make their debuts: Giancarlo Stanton, Corey Kluber, and Brett Gardner will play their first spring contests today, while Domingo Germán will start on Friday, making his first appearance as a Yankee since September 2019. Boone also commented on the status of Gio Urshela, who had undergone elbow surgery in the offseason. Fortunately, Urshela is healthy, and will play on Thursday.

ESPN: The Rays cruised to the AL East crown last year, but the Yankees and Blue Jays both look improved while the Rays may be due for a step back. ESPN’s crew of MLB insiders still see the Rays as a legitimate contender, but agree that the Yankees are now the team to beat. In what could be a cause for concern, two of the three writers interviewed said that the Red Sox could be due for a better year than expected, so don’t go counting out Boston just yet.