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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/14/22

Torres hitting better than ever?; Cashman responds to Crane; Rortvedt faces another injury setback; Gardner turned down two contract offers; Schmidt returns

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Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated | Matt Martell: Gleyber Torres has struggled the last couple of seasons. This season is a different story, however. He’s improved in barrel percentage, average exit velocity, average launch angle, and so many other categories — some figures even look superior to his sensational 2019. He could be better than ever at the plate, and the best may be yet to come for the 25-year-old infielder.

USA Today | Analis Bailey: The Yankees/Astros rivalry is still alive, even between front offices. After the Yankees were found decoding signs in 2015-16, Astros owner Jim Crane made comments that the Yanks were cheating too. “If I was one of the teams, and I knew our team was doing it (cheating), I’d keep my mouth shut and just go about our business,” he said. “But listen, I can only control what’s going on here. I can’t control what the other guys do.”

Yankees GM Brian Cashman responded with a comeback of his own. “No one’s buying the tune he’s singing, no one’s going to dance to that tune,” said Cashman. “And the reason I kind of equated it to a parking ticket versus a felony is, as you recall, they lost multiple years of first-round draft picks, they were fined millions of dollars and decided to fire their manager and general manager because of their actions. There’s no equivalent to any of it. So that’s why I said it’s a deflection. No one’s buying it. No one’s singing to that dance tune. It is what it is. But I applaud him for trying.”

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Ben Rortvedt, who was acquired from the Twins in the Josh Donaldson trade, has yet to play with the team due to injury. He was on his way back from an oblique muscle strain and making rehab appearances in Tampa, but is now dealing with another problem with his knee. The expectation is that Rortvedt will have an MRI done on his knee to get an official diagnosis on the injury, according to Aaron Boone.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: Brett Gardner is still sitting in free agency, but has had offers from other squads. The Toronto Blue Jays offered Gardner a $6 million contract during spring training, and the Atlanta Braves made a bid for him after losing Eddie Rosario for a few months. Gardy seems to only want to play for the Yankees, the only team of his 14-year career. Of course, it doesn’t seem New York wants a reunion with the outfielder right now, and the team certainly isn’t hurting for production at the moment.


Lastly, this was already covered yesterday in the game thread, but Clarke Schmidt is back in the Yankees bullpen. The Yankees optioned Luis Gil following his cameo appearances as a sixth starter on Thursday to get a fresh arm, and one of April’s unsung heroes is back with the team.