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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/20/22

Why Boone might finally be right about the Yankee offense; Some 2021 Yankees off to fast starts with new teams; Judge isn’t the only big looming free agent question mark; Boone expects to have full squad in Toronto

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: Perhaps the biggest early storyline of this Yankees season has been the club’s continued offensive struggles, and their continued insistence that the struggles will pass. Sure, the platitudes offered by Aaron Boone and Co. sound empty after having been repeated for a year, but Martin at least offers some evidence as to why Boone could be on point this time around. The Yankees thus far rank right toward the top of the league in terms of metrics like exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and expected slugging percentage. At least based on Statcast’s models, Boone is right that if the Yankees keep swinging like they have, they will eventually find better results. | Brendan Kuty: With a trip to Toronto upcoming, Boone was asked point blank yesterday if the Yankees had a fully-vaccinated roster. His response? “I think we’re going to be in a good spot. That’s my understanding.” The manager stated that he expected to have everyone he would want to have on the trip. That would make it sound as though players like Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo will be able to take on the Blue Jays. All that said, neither Boone nor the players themselves have stated unequivocally that they’ve gotten vaccinated and are eligible to play in Toronto.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: Judge’s free agency looms as possibly the biggest upcoming offseason story, not just from a Yankee perspective but leaguewide. Anderson runs down the biggest free agency questions that will linger across the season, starting with Judge’s case. He’s not the only key figure; stars like Jacob deGrom and Xander Bogaerts have crucial opt-out decisions looming. Other big Yankee free agents will include Joey Gallo, Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman, and potentially Anthony Rizzo. | Randy Miller: The Yankee roster saw some turnover last winter, meaning there are a number of familiar faces in different uniforms this year. Some 2021 Yankees have gotten off to impressive starts, such as Andrew Heaney and Corey Kluber. Some old friends, however, have seen their struggles persist in new their digs, as Clint Frazier and Gary Sánchez have posted OPS figures under .630 so far (though he did have two doubles last night after Miller’s post went live).

Also, in minor league news, 2021 first round pick Trey Sweeney was placed on the 7-day IL after exiting a High-A Hudson Valley game last weekend with tightness in his lower half. The shortstop isn’t expected to miss significant time.