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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/5/22

Latest demotion final straw for Miguel Andújar; Aaron Judge is the face of baseball; Nestor Cortes accepts Jim Kaat’s apology; Speculating on another Yankees-Pirates trade

Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: Following the Yankees’ 13-0 victory over the Tigers on Friday, the team announced that Miguel Andújar would be demoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to open a roster spot for the returning Giancarlo Stanton. It has been reported by multiple sources that Andújar requested a trade when Aaron Boone informed him of the demotion, though the Yankees have not confirmed those reports.

It’s a tough reminder of the sometimes cold-hearted nature of baseball, as the 27-year-old has worked hard over the last four years to re-cement a spot on the major league roster, and was finally getting some regular playing time when Stanton and Josh Donaldson were on the IL. However, his demotion was always the inevitable decision, as he was one of the few players with a minor league option remaining. Additionally, his lack of defensive versatility meant he would have had to vastly outhit other teammates on the roster to really give Boone something to think about, and that just didn’t happen, with he, Aaron Hicks, and Joey Gallo sporting a .596, .594, and .590 OPS respectively entering play Saturday.

New York Daily News | Mike Lupica: Aaron Judge bashed his league-leading 21st home run on the first pitch the Yankees saw yesterday, furthering his case as the best hitter in the AL if not MLB through the first third of the season. Given the way he is leading the surging Bombers and his larger-than-life persona, you’d have to say that he is not just the face of the Yankees but the face of MLB. We cannot wait to see what he does next.

CBS Sports | Isabel Gonzalez: During a Twins-Tigers game last Thursday, former Yankees pitcher and broadcaster and current Twins broadcaster Jim Kaat used a vulgar epithet when referring to Yankees starter Nestor Cortes. Kaat has since apologized for what he said, and to Cortes’ credit he graciously accepted the apology and holds no ill-will toward Kaat. This is not the first time that Kaat has made insensitive comments about a player during a live broadcast, and the Twins released a statement that they would be dealing with the matter internally.

NJ Advance Media | Mike Rosenstein: Could the Yankees and the Pirates make another trade? Given the success that Jameson Taillon and Clay Holmes have had since being traded to the Yankees from the Pirates in 2021, Brian Cashman may be eager to get Ben Cherington on the phone for another swap. Rosenstein relays speculation from Jim Bowden that Pirates star closer David Bednar could be on the Yankees’ radar. Given Aroldis Chapman’s struggles and Bednar’s stellar record — 1.97 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 26.3 percent K-BB% in 82 appearances since the start of last year — the fit certainly exists.