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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/10/22

More fallout from the end of the Judge negotiations; Rachel Balkovec wins debut; Cole makes waves with “delay” complaints; Rizzo avoided injury after HBP on hand

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images | Mike Petriello: Suffice it to say that media discussion of Aaron Judge’s contract negotiations is not going to end any time soon. As Petriello points out, Judge’s decision to decline the Yankees’ eight-year, $230 million package is of course within his rights, but carries some risk for him. When healthy, he’s one of the best hitters in the game, but he does have a history of injuries and is turning 30 soon. His age probably puts a limit on what teams will be willing to be offer. But the Yankees letting him walk away would leave a huge hole in the lineup, with not many players (if any) they’d be willing or able to acquire who could match his production.

Yahoo! Sports | Chris Cwik: The Yankees made history in the offseason by naming Rachel Balkovec their Single-A affiliate manager, making her the first woman to manage in affiliated baseball. She got off to a good start, as her Tampa Tarpons came from behind to win their first game of the season on Friday. Congratulations to Rachel — hopefully it’s the first of many.

Yahoo! Sports | Jack Baer: Gerrit Cole is getting some rips for his comments suggesting some of the blame for his shaky Opening Day start was due to an “unforeseen challenge” — the festivities pushing the game start time back by, uh, four minutes. Professional athletes and pitchers like Cole are largely creatures of habit and dictated by their routines, but if it really threw Cole off he probably shouldn’t have tossed that fact out to the New York media. Playoff games notably also feature a lot of pregame activities, so Cole should maybe learn to shake this kind of thing off.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Early during Opening Day it looked like the Yankees’ infield picture might be disrupted quickly after Anthony Rizzo crumpled upon taking a Nathan Eovaldi fastball off of his right hand. A broken bone in the hand could have cost Rizzo a lot of time this season, but he stayed in the game and reported that nothing is wrong. The Yankees have more infield depth than in recent years, but losing Rizzo in the first few innings of the season would have been deflating.