Holidays offer Betances time to reflect on a big 2014

Yanks' breakout reliever talks Christmas and more in special Q&A

Holidays offer Betances time to reflect on a big 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, arguably no player on the Yankees' roster can look back with more satisfaction than Dellin Betances. The right-hander pitched his way onto the roster with a strong spring and enjoyed a dominant season out of the bullpen. He shattered Mariano Rivera's 1996 franchise record for strikeouts by a reliever and earned his first All-Star selection.

The Yankees plan to trust Betances with even more opportunities next season, including a possible crack at the closer's role. But he has his eyes set upon an even bigger prize. MLB.com recently joined Betances at Yankee Stadium, where he was handing out toys to local children as part of the annual Bronx Winter Wonderland event, to talk about the holiday season and more:

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Eovaldi fare in AL?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch fields fans' questions

Inbox: How will Eovaldi fare in AL?

Nathan Eovaldi led the National League in hits allowed last season. How is that going to translate to the American League?
-- Joe A., Pekin, Ill.

Good question. The Yankees don't view Eovaldi as a finished product by any measure, but they're intrigued by his age (he'll be 25 in February) and a live arm that ranked fourth this past season among all starters in average fastball velocity (95.7 mph), according to FanGraphs.com. That big arm is an obvious strength, but it can also work to his detriment, as scouts have noted a tendency to try to blaze his way out of tight spots.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Penn State, Boston College ready to rumble in the Bronx

Yankee Stadium hosts Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday

Penn State, Boston College ready to rumble in the Bronx

NEW YORK -- One last thing before Christmas.

Penn State and Boston College took care of some final business before the holidays Wednesday, when they met the media in advance of the Pinstripe Bowl. The two regional powers will meet on the Yankee Stadium turf Saturday, and they'll be seeking fitting closure to their seasons.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Babe Ruth's 1934 Tour of Japan cap sells for $300,000

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Babe Ruth's 1934 Tour of Japan cap sells for $300,000

Is your head feeling a little cold? Embarrassed by your early on-set male pattern baldness? Have hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting around waiting to be spent? 

Well, if you had $303,277, you could have purchased Babe Ruth's cap from the 1934 Tour of Japan that was sold recently at an auction. That's an absolute bargain for a piece of baseball history you can plate atop your pate. 

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Steinbrenner's foundation to aid family of slain officer

Late Yankees owner began Silver Shield to assist with education costs

Steinbrenner's foundation to aid family of slain officer

NEW YORK -- George Steinbrenner, the late Yankees principal owner, started the Silver Shield Foundation in the early 1980s to help the children of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

That foundation will pay for the education of the children of Rafael Ramos, the NYPD officer who was killed along with his partner, Wenjian Liu, while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Cashman pushes Yankees forward with youth movement

Cashman pushes Yankees forward with youth movement

The Yankees are prepared to open the 2015 season with a 24-year-old shortstop and a 23-year-old second baseman. Three of their projected five starting pitchers could be 26 or younger. Out in the bullpen, Shawn Kelley might be the only reliever who has celebrated a 30th birthday.

Yes, friends, the Yankees are getting younger. Never saw that coming, did you? This shift toward more youth is one of the interesting storylines of general manager Brian Cashman's offseason.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The top 10 Jeter moments of 2014

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The top 10 Jeter moments of 2014

2014 was nothing if not "The Year of Jeter." The longtime Yankee captain called it quits after 20 years of service and 3,465 hits. His final year was marked by a farewell tour that allowed the Yankees, MLB and baseball fans around the country an opportunity to properly pay their RE2PECTs to one of the greatest players to ever don pinstripes.

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Yankees acquire righty Eovaldi, send Prado to Marlins

NY lands versatile Jones, righty prospect German; Phelps dealt to Miami

Yankees acquire righty Eovaldi, send Prado to Marlins

NEW YORK -- The Yankees added another piece to their rotation on Friday, acquiring right-hander Nathan Eovaldi from the Marlins in exchange for infielder Martin Prado as part of a five-player deal.

The full trade involves the Yankees receiving Eovaldi, first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones and pitching prospect Domingo German in exchange for Prado and right-hander David Phelps.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks land reliever Germen in deal with Mets

Yanks land reliever Germen in deal with Mets

NEW YORK -- The Yankees acquired right-handed reliever Gonzalez Germen from the Mets on Friday in exchange for cash considerations.

The crosstown trade marked the first deal between the New York rivals in more than a decade. The last trade between the Yanks and Mets came on Dec. 3, 2004, when the Yankees sent Felix Heredia to the Mets in exchange for Mike Stanton.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Staying with Yanks, Headley sets sights on Series title

Veteran third baseman's 4-year contract reportedly worth $52 million

Staying with Yanks, Headley sets sights on Series title

The Yankees further solidified their infield Monday, signing third baseman Chase Headley to a four-year deal worth a reported $52 million.

Headley acknowledged that he had at least one larger offer on the table from a team he chose not to identify, but said he was willing to leave some money on the table in order to return to the Yanks.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees strengthen rotation, bring back Capuano

Left-hander finalizes one-year deal after making 12 starts for New York in 2014

Yankees strengthen rotation, bring back Capuano

The Yankees added some much-needed depth to their starting rotation on Tuesday, signing left-hander Chris Capuano to a one-year contract. The deal is said to be worth $5 million, according to multiple reports.

Capuano, 36, went 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 12 starts for the Yankees this past season after joining the club on July 24.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

With Headley, Yanks squarely in race for AL East title

Red Sox, Blue Jays also in running, while Orioles could be dark horses

With Headley, Yanks squarely in race for AL East title

Maybe the best thing about third baseman Chase Headley re-signing with the Yankees is that you can legitimately make a case for any of three teams winning the American League East.

Red Sox? Blue Jays? Yankees? Who do you have? This is good stuff, the best of the Hot Stove League. There's still some business to be done in Baltimore, but that's OK, too.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Yankees pursue backup first baseman?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch responds to questions from fans

Inbox: Will Yankees pursue backup first baseman?

The Yankees' stay at last week's Winter Meetings did not produce any transactions to discuss, but general manager Brian Cashman and his staff left San Diego with information that they hope will help in shaping the 2015 roster. Here is a glance at what Yankees fans are talking about:

With Mark Teixeira's recent injury history, do the Yankees plan on pursuing a backup first baseman this winter? -- Chris T., New York, N.Y.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Will Yanks turn over closer duties to Betances?

American League Rookie of Year finalist is prepared for any role in 2015

Will Yanks turn over closer duties to Betances?

NEW YORK -- The Yankees will be employing their fourth full-time closer in four seasons when the 2015 campaign begins, a statement that would have been nearly unthinkable just a few years ago. If the challenge falls upon Dellin Betances, he vows to be prepared.

"For me, I think I would just try to treat everything the same, no matter what happens," Betances said. "I know obviously it's a different role, but I'm just looking forward to helping the team win, no matter what situation they want me in."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Sir Didi' not afraid to follow captain's reign

'Sir Didi' not afraid to follow captain's reign

NEW YORK -- It's no small challenge to be the shortstop replacing Derek Jeter, a man who was considered by some to be virtual royalty around Yankee Stadium. Perhaps it is fitting that Didi Gregorius actually has the credentials for it.

Back in 2011, Gregorius was officially knighted in Curacao as a reward for being part of the Netherlands team that won the IBAF Baseball World Cup. As a result, Gregorius goes by "Sir Didi" on his public Twitter account, and he said that honor bleeds into his real life as well.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For Yankees, pursuits at Meetings hit a wall

Cashman taking wait-and-see approach in talks with other teams

For Yankees, pursuits at Meetings hit a wall

SAN DIEGO -- The questions peppered Brian Cashman throughout his stay at the Winter Meetings, where the Yankees arrived with needs to fill but ultimately were not able to cross the finish line on any new business.

"We threw a lot of ideas a lot of different ways, but we've got a long way between now and Opening Day," Cashman said on Thursday. "We'll keep our conversations that still are ongoing alive and just wait and see."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chavez lends helpful perspective to Yankees

As special assignment scout, former third baseman's input has great value

Chavez lends helpful perspective to Yankees

SAN DIEGO -- The Yankees' executive contingent huddled in their suites for this year's Winter Meetings and welcomed a new -- but very familiar -- voice to the crowd.

Eric Chavez, who retired this past year after 17 seasons in the big leagues, rejoined the Yankees as a special assignment scout this winter. Having turned in his uniform just six months ago, Chavez can provide the Yanks with real-time clubhouse analysis of any potential acquisitions.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2014 Rule 5 Draft results

The final day of the Winter Meetings began with the annual Rule 5 Draft. Teams were only able to make a selection if it had space on its 40-man roster.

ROUND 1
1. Arizona Diamondbacks: C Oscar Hernandez, Rays
2. Colorado Rockies: IF Mark Canha, Marlins
3. Texas Rangers: OF Delino DeShields Jr., Astros
4. Houston Astros: RHP Jason Garcia, Red Sox
5. Minnesota Twins: RHP J.R. Graham, Braves
6. Boston Red Sox: RHP Jandel Gustave, Astros
7. Chicago Cubs: SS Taylor Featherston, Rockies
8. Philadelphia Phillies: IF David Herrera, Rangers
9. Miami Marlins: LHP Andrew McKirahan, Cubs
10. New York Mets: LHP Sean Gilmartin, Twins
11. Atlanta Braves: RHP Daniel Winkler, Rockies
12. Seattle Mariners: LHP David Rollins, Astros
13. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Logan Verrett, Mets

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Boras attempts to sell Cashman, Yankees on Scherzer

Unable to finalize deals at Winter Meetings, club's GM remaining patient

Boras attempts to sell Cashman, Yankees on Scherzer

SAN DIEGO -- Taking his annual place as the center of attention at the Winter Meetings, agent Scott Boras looked through the crush of cameras and microphones on Wednesday, fielding an inquiry concerning the odds of the Yankees actually sitting out the sweepstakes for Max Scherzer.

The Yanks would prefer not to issue another nine-figure contract to a starting pitcher, but some rival executives believe that the Yanks ultimately won't be able to resist the temptation. Boras opined that the Yanks need someone like Scherzer to get back to the playoffs and beyond.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod keeping Yankees updated on offseason workouts

Third baseman meets with club's strength and conditioning coordinator

A-Rod keeping Yankees updated on offseason workouts

SAN DIEGO -- Alex Rodriguez has been providing the Yankees with proof of his offseason progress, sending along videos of his workouts, and he had another positive in-person visit on Wednesday with the club's strength and conditioning coordinator.

Matt Krause checked in with Rodriguez for the second time this winter, according to general manager Brian Cashman. That visit took place in Miami, where the 39-year-old is preparing to rejoin the Yankees lineup following his season-long suspension.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bird, Judge named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

Most Valuable Player Greg Bird leads young stars following AFL season

Bird, Judge named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

The Arizona Fall League on Wednesday announced its 2014 Top Prospects Team, highlighted by league Most Valuable Player Greg Bird and baseball's top prospect Byron Buxton.

The 22-man Top Prospects Team includes at least one player from 16 Major League organizations. The Fall League managers and coaches voted on the team, taking into consideration the players' performances during the fall and their projected future in the Major Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman stands by bullpen as Yanks look forward at Meetings

Cashman stands by bullpen as Yanks look forward at Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- The Yankees don't mind tossing verbal bouquets in David Robertson's direction, but those kind acknowledgements of past service were all the club decided to offer, choosing instead to march forward with both Andrew Miller and the promise of a future prospect.

Shortly after general manager Brian Cashman informed agent Scott Leventhal that the Yankees would not make a contract offer, Robertson agreed to a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox. That will entitle New York to an extra selection between the first and second rounds of next year's First-Year Player Draft.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Girardi maintains confidence in talent-packed 'pen

Yanks' skipper not ready to set relief roles in stone as Meetings play out

Girardi maintains confidence in talent-packed 'pen

SAN DIEGO -- The small card of available relievers that Joe Girardi hides in his back pocket during games should once again provide a list of strong options in 2015, and the Yankees manager expects that will include someone ready to handle the ninth inning.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, Girardi said that the Yankees will miss David Robertson, who agreed to a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox late on Monday. Still, Girardi believes that his club won't have trouble holding late leads next season.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tradition-laden schools amped for Pinstripe Bowl

Tradition-laden schools amped for Pinstripe Bowl

Two of the Northeast's proudest universities and football programs will be in New York for the holidays, experiencing all the Big Apple has to offer during the season before clashing on the gridiron at one of the most hallowed grounds in sports.

The fifth edition of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will pit Penn State (6-6) against Boston College (7-5) at 4:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium. It is the first time either team has participated in the event (and the first time a team from the ACC or Big Ten has appeared), but neither team is stranger to the college football spotlight.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees' to-do list begins with 'A' for arms

Closer up for grabs after Robertson comes to terms with White Sox

Yankees' to-do list begins with 'A' for arms

SAN DIEGO -- Pitching remained at the top of the Yankees' priority list as the Winter Meetings began on Monday, with general manager Brian Cashman continuing to work the phones in pursuit of both starters and relievers.

The Yanks remained in touch with closer David Robertson, but their optimism in retaining him had seemed to dim in recent days, and he agreed late Monday evening to a four-year pact with the White Sox worth at least $40 million, MLB.com has confirmed.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Capable of closing, Miller expects to stay in setup role

Left-hander bolsters an already formidable Yankees bullpen

Capable of closing, Miller expects to stay in setup role

SAN DIEGO -- Andrew Miller believes that he is capable of handling the ninth inning for the Yankees next season should it come to that, but the left-hander expects to be used in a setup role and will be ready to take on any assignment that the club gives him.

The left-hander said that free-agent closer David Robertson's situation did not come up while negotiating his own four-year, $36 million deal with the Yankees, and while he's now tracking the Yanks' Hot Stove moves as an interested observer, Miller feels that New York's bullpen already looks formidable on paper.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NYC children receive holiday treat from Jeter

Turn 2 Foundation's celebration includes gift packages, movie screening

NYC children receive holiday treat from Jeter

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter treated 485 children to a screening of the movie "Annie" and then surprised them with holiday gift bags Monday night at an Upper West Side theater in Manhattan. Included in the bags was a refrigerator magnet that listed "Derek Jeter's 10 Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams," and they read in order as follows:

Set Your Goals High. Deal with Growing Pains. Find the Right Role Models. The World Isn't Always Fair. Don't be Afraid to Fail. Have a Strong Supporting Cast. Be Serious, But Have Fun. Think Before You Act. Be a Leader, Follow the Leader. Life is a Daily Challenge.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mike Mussina turns 46, is no ordinary moose

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Mike Mussina turns 46, is no ordinary moose

According to National Geographic, moose have an average lifespan of 15-20 years. On his 46th birthday, Mike Mussina has more than doubled that -- proving once and for all that he is better than actual moose in nearly every regard.  

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