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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/5/22

Yanks acquire David McKay from the Rays for cash; Judge hopes for consistency to guide team forward; Donaldson lined up to potentially lead off; Carlos Beltran causes alarm after misspeaking on broadcast.

New York Mets v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: The Yankees have an interesting 40-man roster crunch coming up, and it just became a little more crowded. The team acquired David McKay from the Rays on Monday, bolstering their bullpen depth in preparation for an uncertain stretch with plenty of arms still needing to get stretched out. McKay signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay earlier this year that stipulated if he didn’t end up on the team’s 40-man roster then they had to make him available for other teams who would, opening the door for the Yankees to get him for just cash considerations.

McKay adds his cap into the mix at the bottom of the ‘pen, trying to break into the league after brief stints with the Mariners and Tigers in 2019-20. He’s only thrown 26.2 innings of 6.08 ERA ball with a 15.3 percent walk rate, which doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. His Triple-A stats show an underlying positive note, as he struck out 36.5 percent of batters there across 46.2 innings, but it’s safe to say that McKay is probably just getting a look with the expanded rosters to see if there’s anything that Matt Blake and company can work with. | Bryan Hoch: Aaron Judge came oh-so-close to the World Series in his rookie 2017 campaign, and he feels the weight of not having put up a pennant in Yankee Stadium in the four years since then. At the same time, its a source of motivation for Judge, who is hoping for a consistent year health-wise — both for himself, and the team at large. Judge expects the team to be dangerous if they can keep things level, and perhaps he can finally get that chip off of his shoulder if they get rolling.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: DJ LeMahieu is the natural fit for a leadoff hitter on this Yankees roster, but as of right now he’s not regularly starting (depending on how their plan to cycle the infield starts goes). With that void in the lineup, there are several sort-of fits that could work out, but it appears that Josh Donaldson is in line to get the first crack at it. Donaldson has only hit leadoff a few times back in 2015, but he’s done so several times this spring and has looked solid at the plate. We’ll see if there’s rain in the forecast to lead off the bottom of the first inning soon enough.

NY Post | Dan Martin: Carlos Beltran’s introduction to the YES Network broadcast booth came with a controversial moment. The former Yankee made comments on the broadcast that seemed to imply Aaron Judge had signed an extension with the team ahead of his Opening Day deadline, prompting the internet to go crazy. Beltran later clarified that it was his hope that the team and Judge would come together on a deal, which, same Carlos. Judge took it in stride when informed of the little gaffe after the game, saying that Beltran “is my man,” and that he believes the new color commentator was simply trying to have his back.