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Around the Empire: New York Yankees News 3/8/15

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The ferocious AL East, Tommy John, the lefties down on the farm, and the trade deadline is sooner than you think.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports | Jeff Sullivan: Yup, the AL East is going to be the toughest division in baseball once again. That's bad news for a team like the Yankees, who are going to be clawing for every win they can get. A little run of luck (and health) could make this a very exciting season.

LoHud | Chad Jennings: Scott Baker put off Tommy John surgery after an injury in college. He eventually went under the knife, but he pitched for a number of years and he thinks the Yankees have done the right thing with Masahiro Tanaka. Despite TJ's strong track record of success, he's especially concerned about high schoolers and other young athletes choosing surgery when rehab might be possible. We're sure to hear more about this as Tanaka's countryman Yu Darvish prepares for his own date with the doctor.

New York Times | Billy Witz: Learn more than you ever thought you would about how different Yankees break in their gloves.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: The Yankees have more young left-handed pitchers rising through the system right now than they did at any point in the last decade. Unfortunately, that talent is arriving at the same time as the AL East has lost some of its best left-handed hitters.

Beyond the Box Score | Matt Jackson: An interesting analysis looking at what kind of teams participate in the trade deadline and what kind of players they go after.