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Mike Francesa stunner: WFAN return is coming | — April 24, 2018

Mike Francesa stunner: WFAN return is coming |

By James Kratch

Mike Francesa says he’s coming home.

The legendary sports talk radio host told Newsday’s Neil Best he plans to return to WFAN in some capacity following a New York Post report he “desperately misses” radio and was seeking an avenue for a return just months after his much-ballyhooed departure.

“It is time to return to WFAN,” Francesa told Best, adding, “I have been working on a project with (entertainment and sports agency) CAA for months. That will be explained in the days ahead. … I will do everything to work WFAN into an integral part of the project.”

Francesa didn’t offer specifics, but he also referenced a nefarious-sounding “campaign” to prevent him from returning to WFAN in his interview with Best – one that seems to have given the big guy the necessary motivation to re-join the station.

“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back,” he said. “For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.”

Francesa’s greatest hits: Giants rant from last season

The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported Monday Francesa or representatives from his camp had had discussions with ESPN Radio New York and WOR. Marchand also said a return to WFAN could not be ruled out.

Well, here we are.

The news of Francesa’s apparent return comes after his WFAN replacements, Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott of “The Afternoon Drive,” finished slightly behind longtime Francesa nemesis “The Michael Kay Show,” which is broadcast on ESPN Radio New York, in the winter ratings book. Francesa never lost a ratings book to Kay.

Francesa had shopped his long-running NFL Sunday show to ESPN, according to The Post. That may be the most-likely role he could play in his WFAN return.

According to The Post, Francesa could have stayed at WFAN in a reduced role – the report says the station was willing to shorten his hours – but he declined. Francesa also passed up the chance to stay following the September arrest of former morning show host Craig Carton. Francesa asked for a raise, according to the report, and talks with the station went nowhere.

Yankees Acquire A.J. Cole, Designate David Hale —

Yankees Acquire A.J. Cole, Designate David Hale

By Jeff Todd

AJ Cole

The Yankees have acquired righty A.J. Cole from the Nationals, per club announcements. Cash considerations will go to the Washington organization in return. To clear a roster spot, the Yankees designated fellow right-hander David Hale for assignment.

Cole, 26, had recently been designated by the Nats after a poor start to the current season. He’s out of options, so he’ll go directly onto the Yankees’ MLB roster, where he could work as a longman from the bullpen.

What Yankees’ Gleyber Torres said in first interview after call-up — April 22, 2018

What Yankees’ Gleyber Torres said in first interview after call-up

gleynber tores

Gleyber Torres talks to reporters in Moosic, Pa., after being pulled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s game on Sunday and told he’s being called up by the Yankees.

By Randy Miller

NEW YORK Yankees No. 1 prospect Gleyber Torres thought he was being punished Saturday when he was pulled out of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s game after six innings.

An inning earlier, Torres grounded out to the pitcher with a runner on third, so he was thinking maybe he “didn’t hustle to first base.”

Torres was in the dark until a few minutes after his club lost 6-5 to Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.

The mystery was divulged when RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell called Torres into his office and blurted out, “You’re going to the big leagues.”

Torres, 21, didn’t else much more information out of Mitchell out that to wait for Yankees to tell him how to get to New York for Sunday afternoon’s game, which likely will have him in manager Aaron Boone’s lineup playing second base in his Major League debut.

“I’m super happy.” Torres told Wilkes-Barre Times Leader baseball writer DJ Eberle. “It’s like a dream. I’m happy for the opportunity.”

Before his interview, Torres called his parents in Venezuela.

“They were crying and happy,” he said.

And they also quickly made plans to get to New York for Sunday’s Yankees-Toronto Blue Jays game at Yankee Stadium.

“I’m a hundred percent super excited,” said Torres, who his .347 this season in 14 International League games. “I think any player when they start baseball, the dream is to play in the big leagues. For sure it was my dream.”

Torres is headed to the majors 10 months after his 2017 season abruptly ended on June 17 when he blew out his non-throwing elbow sliding headfirst into home playing a Triple-A game in Buffalo. The injury was so bad that he needed Tommy John surgery, which required a long rehab.

By spring training, Torres was healthy and a candidate for the Yankees’ open second base spot, but he looked rusty struggling at the plate in Grapefruit League games and was farmed out early.

But barely two weeks into Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s season, Torres is headed to the Yankees, who have received next to nothing offensively from second basemen Neil Walker and Tyler Wade.

“Last year was a tough year for me and after lot of months I started playing games,” Torres said. “The spring was a little bit difficult, but coming to the season I started hot and now I’m going to the big leagues.

“I’m super excited and happy. I can’t wait for the first game.”

Yankees sign a veteran first-base insurance policy — April 19, 2018

Yankees sign a veteran first-base insurance policy

By Dan Martin

adam lind

The Yankees should soon find out how long they will be without Tyler Austin, who is expected to have his appeal of the five-game suspension stemming from last week’s brawl at Fenway Park heard as soon as Thursday.

Austin has filled in well for Greg Bird at first while Bird rehabs after ankle surgery. Before his 0-for-4 on Tuesday, Austin had been 8-for-19 with three doubles in his previous five games.

The Yankees signed Adam Lind to a minor league deal on Wednesday, as insurance at first.

Lind was with the Yankees briefly during spring training and will report to the team’s player development complex in Tampa on Thursday for extended spring training, since he wasn’t picked up by another team after he was released by the Yankees on March 14.

The 34-year-old lefty hitter had an OPS of .875 in 314 plate appearances with the Nationals last season.

The Yankees may also turn to Neil Walker, who has so far struggled from both sides of the plate. Generally a better hitter as a lefty throughout his career (.796 OPS versus righties/.688 OPS vs. southpaws), Walker has been dreadful. He’s just 6-for-38 with no extra-base hits (.414 OPS) against right-handers and 3-for-14 with a double (.500 OPS) against lefties.

Walker still could be feeling the effect of not having a full spring training, since he didn’t sign with the Yankees until March 12.

CC Sabathia is scheduled to return to the mound Thursday after being shelved with a hip injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list.

The lefty will be looking for a return to form after giving up three homers in four innings against the Orioles in The Bronx on April 6 before leaving with tightness in his hip.

The Yankees could use a solid start against the second-place Blue Jays. Sabathia pitched effectively for five innings in his first start of the year in Toronto, limiting the Blue Jays to two runs (one earned) in five innings.

Since pitching well as a group to start the season, the Yankees’ rotation has been inconsistent. After Masahiro Tanaka got pounded for seven runs (six earned) on Tuesday, Yankees’ starters had a combined ERA of 4.84. Just five teams in the AL entered Wednesday with a worse mark.

8 Yankees things to know Monday | Tyler Wade on Gleyber Torres likely arriving soon/ — April 16, 2018

8 Yankees things to know Monday | Tyler Wade on Gleyber Torres likely arriving soon/

By Randy Miller

9 Yankees things to know Saturday | Factors for Gleyber Torres call-up — April 14, 2018

9 Yankees things to know Saturday | Factors for Gleyber Torres call-up

wlaker hicks

By Robert Miller

MLB Issues Suspensions, Fines In Wake Of Yankees-Red Sox Brawl — April 13, 2018

MLB Issues Suspensions, Fines In Wake Of Yankees-Red Sox Brawl

By Jeff Todd

Major League Baseball has announced a variety of suspensions and fines relating to last night’s dust-up between the Yankees and Red Sox. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported on Twitter, New York first baseman Tyler Austin was slapped with a five-game ban while Boston reliever Joe Kelly will sit out six contests.

Both of those players have appealed their suspensions, meaning they won’t go into immediate effect and could still be shortened. Austin was penalized for charging Kelly on the hill and for his role in the melee. Kelly’s ban stemmed from a finding that he intentionally plunked Austin and also participated in the brawl.

Those two are also among those charged with undisclosed fines. Red Sox skipper Alex Cora and Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin were among them. A host of players on the disabled list — CC Sabathia, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, and Marco Hernandez — were also hit with fines for joining the fracas.

If these suspensions are upheld, they’ll hurt the respective teams somewhat but likely won’t have a major impact on the course of the current season. Still, the ongoing tension certainly makes tonight’s series-ending affair between these rivals appointment viewing and sets the stage for an interesting season-long battle between the two division favorites.

Yankees Acquire L.J. Mazzilli From Mets For Kendall Coleman — April 10, 2018

Yankees Acquire L.J. Mazzilli From Mets For Kendall Coleman

By Jeff Todd

The Yankees and Mets have announced a rare, but minor, swap involving a pair of farmhands. Utilityman L.J. Mazzilli is headed to the Yanks in exchange for outfielderKendall Coleman.

Mazzilli is the son of former MLB player and coach Lee Mazzilli, who currently works in the Yankees organization in a non-uniformed capacity. The younger Mazzilli is a former fourth-round pick who has mostly played in the upper minors over the past three seasons. He’s a .254/.335/.346 hitter over 1,164 Double-A plate appearances, but has gone down on strikes just 176 times in that span while drawing 123 walks. Mazzilli has mostly played second base but has increasingly also spent time in the corner outfield.

As for Coleman, he has not really advanced since drawing a $150K bonus as the Yankees’ 11th-round pick in the 2013 draft. The 22-year-old has mostly struggled at the plate in the low minors and has only briefly moved past the low-A level. All told,he carries a .207/.309/.301 batting line with ten home runs and 245 strikeouts in his 893 trips to the plate as a professional.

lj mazilli

How Aaron Judge, Yankees feel about Giancarlo Stanton’s slump, fan abuse — April 9, 2018

How Aaron Judge, Yankees feel about Giancarlo Stanton’s slump, fan abuse


By Randy Miller

Didi Gregorius, two years from free agency, discusses next contract, future with Yankees — April 8, 2018

Didi Gregorius, two years from free agency, discusses next contract, future with Yankees

didi gregoriass

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is making $8.25 million this season.

By Randy Millar

NEW YORK Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is ready to talk contract extension if and when management becomes interested in starting negotiations.

He’s willing to talk now.

He’s willing talk after the season.

His hope is that a new deal is in place before he can become a free agent after the 2019 season.

“If they offer me something and I get a chance to stay here, I’ll stay here,” Gregorius told NJ Advance Media.

Surely, the Yankees want to keep Gregorius, who has developed into a star after initially struggling in 2015 as Derek Jeter’s successor.

So far, the Yankees haven’t reached out to Gregorius, who has followed a tremendous 2017 season by getting off to a great start this year, the highlight being his record-setting eight-RBI game in last Tuesday’s home opener.

“I have no offer,” Gregorius said. “Nothing. No talks. I’m just playing the game. If they want to offer me a contract, they’ll offer me a contract. But they haven’t told me anything. All I worry about right now is my job.”

Thus far, the Yankees and Gregorius have had no contract squabbles, as he’s been eligible for salary arbitration the past three offseasons and each time the sides worked out a deal without a hearing.

Gregorius is making $8.25 million this year after bringing in $5.1 million last year and $2.425 million in 2016.

If the Yankees approach Gregorius about a long-term contract, he hinted that he wouldn’t try to break the bank.

“I don’t look at it as I’m the guy who plays shortstop and will have a lot of money,” he said. “It’s not about money for me. It’s about the love of the game and what I do for my teammates. That’s all that matters for me. At the end of the day, if they want to offer me a contract, they’ll offer me a contract. But right now I’m just focusing on what I can do and we’ll see how everything is going to turn out.”

Gregorius was asked if his preference is to stay with the Yankees.

“My preference is to stay in the big leagues, especially in New York,” he said. “So I’d probably stay here.”

What would Gregorius be worth on the open market?

One of the Major League scouts taking in Friday night’s game at Yankee Stadium was asked that question and his answer interestingly included mention of Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, one of the biggest names in next winter’s free agent class and rumored to be hoping to sign with the club that he rooted for in his youth, the Yankees.

“Didi’s a budding superstar and he’s not like Machado, who will try to get every dollar that he can get,” the scout said. “If the Yankees are smart, they’ll lock him up in the offseason. Give Didi $20 million a year for six years and I think he’ll be very happy and keep doing his thing.”

Gregorius had a breakout season last year, hitting .287 with 25 homers and 87 RBIs despite missing the first month with a shoulder injury. This year, he’s been the Yankees’ best player thus far with a .367 average, three homers and 10 RBIs in nine games through Saturday.

For sure, Gregorius is in line for mega bucks down the road.

“I don’t look at that stuff,” he said. “That’s not going to help me. The only thing I can control is playing the game the right way. If I do that, everything is going to be fine at the end.”