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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 7/18/19

Chapman’s opt out looming after 2019; Yankees acquire Terrance Gore; Sanchez’s thumb not cause of slump according to Boone

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Zack Braziller: His recent blown save at the hands of Yankee killer Travis D’Arnaud notwithstanding, Aroldis Chapman is in the midst of yet another stellar season (2.45 ERA, 2.09 FIP). If the fireballing reliever keeps this up, he may be tempted to opt out of the final two years of his contract after this season and test the free agent market. It’s far from a given that Chapman will actually opt out, but if he does it will be interesting to see how the Yankees approach the situation. Will their recently conservative spending habits lead them to pass on re-signing Chapman, or will their focus on building a super bullpen take priority?

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: Finally, the trade we’ve all been waiting for; speed demon Terrance Gore is now a New York Yankee. Acquired from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations, Gore has made a name for himself with his postseason pinch-running heroics. While the trade is far from a major move, it does address a team weakness—baserunning—and it’s always useful to have a speedster on the bench. Plus, as he’s starting off in Triple-A, he won’t take up any space on the 40-man roster until the Yankees see fit to call him up. Chalk this up as a nifty little move by Cashman.

New York Daily News: Gary Sanchez has been slumping lately. The All-Star catcher is hitting just .108/.195/.243 in July, for a groan-worthy wRC+ of 15. This has led some fans to speculate that the thumb Sanchez jammed during the London Series is causing him trouble. Aaron Boone disputed the notion, however, characterizing the slump as a combination of too many hittable pitches let go and mis-hit foul balls. If you’re unconvinced, PSA’s own Joshua Diemert took a stab at explaining Sanchez’s slump, coming to the conclusion that his plate discipline is deteriorating. My hypothesis? It’s not August yet.