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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/20/16

Castro backing up third, Cashman's comments on the off-season, Gardner rumors, and more.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images | Chad Thornburg: Expect Starlin Castro to get steady reps at third base in spring training and early in the regular season, since the primary second baseman will also most likely back up Chase Headley at third base.

LoHud | Chad Jennings: Castro was just one of the topics Brian Cashman discussed on Yankees Hot Stove; he also talked about Greg Bird's 2016 role, Gary Sanchez, and more. | Joe Giglio: Just because we are over halfway through January doesn't mean the Brett Gardner rumors are over. Another columnist floated an idea of him going in a deal for Angels starter Andrew Heaney, though one would figure that Heaney would cost a little more than just Gardner. | Richard Justice: Good luck picking a favorite in the AL East, which has seen a different division winner in each of the past four seasons. Each team has major questions about them, too. Alex Rodriguez and the starting pitching are among those mysteries.

New York Daily News: On this day 27 years ago, President Ronald Reagan surprisingly issued Yankees owner George Steinbrenner a pardon for his illegal contributions to Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign. Because... why not.