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

Yankees trade Rodríguez to Mets for Castro; Four more players cut from spring roster; Voit-for-Paddack shot down; Ridings discusses approach, repertoire

San Diego Padres v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: As detailed here, the Yankees made a move to tweak their bullpen in advance of Opening Day. It’s rare to see the Mets and Yankees agree on a trade, but they did so yesterday, as lefty Joely Rodríguez was sent to Queens for right-hander Miguel Castro — their first transaction of major leaguers since 2004. Both Aaron Boone and former Toronto teammate Josh Donaldson agreed that Castro has “electric” stuff, and if he can master his control a little more, he could be another weapon in the Yankees’ bullpen.

Yankees PR: The Yankees also made a few more roster cuts yesterday, further clarifying their Opening Day roster. There had been some thought of carrying a third catcher, but with Jose Trevino now in the mix after Saturday night’s acquisition in exchange for Albert Abreu, they will indeed farm out all three of Rob Brantly, David Freitas, and Max McDowell. Recently-signed former All-Star Shelby Miller will also join them in the minors, which is hardly a surprise as he very much needs to prove himself before earning any serious consideration.

SNY | Andy Martino: Chalk this under the “what could have been” category. Before the Yankees traded Luke Voit to the Padres for prospect Justin Lange, they first asked San Diego about taking Voit in exchange for starter Chris Paddack. The Padres rejected this offer. Paddack has struggled since a strong rookie season in 2019, but the Mets also recently engaged the Padres with discussions for Paddack, though that proposal involved a more convoluted combination of players (including Eric Hosmer and his albatross contract).

FanGraphs | David Laurila: One fun name from the 2021 Yankees who hasn’t been heard of much in camp this year is reliever Stephen Ridings. The hard-throwing righty went from COVID-IL replacement to cult fan favorite in just five games last August before an elbow injury ended his season. Some shoulder soreness has kept him from Opening Day consideration this year, but he talked about his repertoire and approach a little bit with Laurila. Whenever Ridings is ready to return to pitch at Triple-A, he wants to be the guy who “blows [the] doors off” with his heater and slider.