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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/2/21

Hal Steinbrenner voices support for Brian Cashman & Aaron Boone, blames players; Yankees acquire Tim Locastro, complete Mike Ford trade; Hal reportedly willing to surpass luxury tax threshold

MLB London Series Announcement

ESPN │ Marly Rivera: Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner expressed his frustration about the Yankees’ subpar performance so far in 2021, but backed general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. “Am I mad at what I see? Absolutely,” he said in a videoconference call with reporters. “I am aggravated, frustrated, angry, but that’s not going to push me into a knee-jerk reaction to get rid of somebody that I believe the players respect, want to play for, want to win for and, overall, has done a good job keeping that clubhouse together through these difficult three months.” He did, however, not hesitate to place most of the blame on one particular group: “In my opinion, the majority of the responsibility lies with the players. They’re the ones on the field,” he concluded.

NY Post │ Elizabeth Karpen: The Yankees completed a trade on Thursday afternoon, in which they brought outfielder Tim Locastro from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Double-A pitcher Keegan Curtis. Locastro is no slugger, but he is among the fastest players in the league and can defend the three outfield positions. He has a lifetime .234 average with a .339 OBP and a .662 OPS in 200 MLB games.

NJ Advance Media │ Randy Miller: On June 17th, the Yankees traded first baseman Mike Ford to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later. The name of that player was revealed on Thursday, and it’s outfielder Aldenis Sánchez, who will turn 23 in September but has yet to play in full-season ball. He is known for his speed: he has 61 stolen bases in 77 attempts over 150 games spread in four seasons at the Rookie-level. Sánchez will need to move quickly to avoid seeing his career stalled, though.

SNY │ Danny Abriano This week, speaking with reporters, Cashman had left the door open for the Yankees to be sellers if the current slide continued. Steinbrenner, however, doesn’t want the Yankees to relinquish assets at the deadline. “Cash’s job is to consider everything and look at everything, but that’s not a direction I’m contemplating right now or even thinking about”, he said yesterday. The owner also explained he would be open to consider surpassing the luxury tax threshold: “If I feel we’re not good enough, we need another piece to be the championship-caliber team that we want to be and we expect to be, then I’m going to seriously consider doing whatever I need to do.”

SNY │ Coby Green Yankees ace Gerrit Cole had nothing but praise for his Mets counterpart Jacob deGrom. “He’s about as good as it gets, isn’t he?” Cole said with a smile. “He’s fantastic with his velocity. His movement on his pitches, his location. ... The numbers back it up, and then to boot, he rakes, so I mean, he’s been really fun to watch. He’s been really good for the game.” Both teams are set to face each other on the weekend, but deGrom won’t be taking the mound against the Bombers, as he did it on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves instead.

Lastly, PSA already posted a story about this, but Aaron Judge was named a starter on the American League All-Star team. DJ LeMahieu was also one of the final nominees at second base, though he fell well shy of the Blue Jays’ Marcus Semien.