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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/19/22

Yankees reportedly open to continuing contract extension talks with Aaron Judge; former third-round pick released after alleged misdealing; Ben Rortvedt undergoes surgery; looking at Aroldis Chapman’s struggles.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Quite infamously, the Yankees and Aaron Judge failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension before the start of the season, potentially leading to the star outfielder hitting the free agent market this offseason. Reportedly (in this subscriber exclusive article), the Yankees are willing to continue negotiations during the season. It’s easy to understand why after Judge’s MVP level start to the new season, led by his MLB-leading home run total.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees recently released 2019 third-rounder Jake Sanford and while it seemed odd at the time to cut such a recent high draft pick, the cause has unfortunately emerged. According to Kuty’s sourced reporting, the outfielder was dropped from the organization after allegations that he stole equipment from teammates and solid it online, as well as scamming people out of planned sales.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: The third piece of the Yankees-Twins trade back in March, Ben Rortvedt was expecting to be part of the Bombers’ catching duo, but due to injuries he has yet to make an appearance with the team. Now, the catcher is confirmed out for at least 6-8 weeks after undergoing a procedure on his left knee.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Despite the Yankees’ excellent start to the season, closer Aroldis Chapman hasn’t looked like the dominant pitcher he’s been in years past. He’s allowed a run in each of his last four appearances, a stretch during which hitters have OPSed 1.224 off him. Among the issues that have arisen during his outings is a lack of control and a fastball that doesn’t always reach the speeds that they used to.