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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/28/22

Weeks after Yankees hire Rachel Balkovec, Red Sox also make history; Wagner shoots down A-Rod’s Hall of Fame case; Options at closer with Chapman’s looming free agency

New York Mets v New York Yankees

MLB.com | Ian Browne: Earlier this month, the Yankees tabbed Rachel Balkovec as the manager of the Low-A Tampa Tarpons, making her the first woman manager in affiliated baseball history. This week, the Red Sox named Katie Krall player development coach at Double-A Portland, meaning Boston is the first organization to employ more than one woman coach. That it’s historic to see a club hire even two women shows that there’s still a ways to go, but this is still certainly a heartening story and positive trend.

NJ.com | Mike Rosenstein: Nearly two-thirds of Hall of Fame voters turned their noses up at Alex Rodriguez, and they’re joined by a pretty notable fellow candidate in Billy Wagner. The former lefty reliever put it plainly: “To me, that is a very easy story. If you are caught and proven without a doubt and you are suspended, I don’t know why you are on the ballot.” Wagner himself garnered about half of the vote, and stands a chance to eventually make it into the Hall with three years of eligibility on the ballot remaining.

New York Post | Dan Martin: (subscription required) Aroldis Chapman is entering the final year of his deal with the Yankees, so Martin runs down the possible succession options at closer. The Yankees could re-sign Chapman, of course, but they also have interesting internal options in Jonathan Loáisiga and Chad Green. Veteran Proven Closer Craig Kimbrel will also be a free agent after 2022, and Kenley Jansen could also be in the mix if he’s only under contract for one year after his current free agency.