Same pinstripes, new role for 'grateful' A-Rod

Former Yankee ready to guide team's next generation as special guest instructor

Same pinstripes, new role for 'grateful' A-Rod

TAMPA, Fla. -- When Alex Rodriguez needs a moment to clear his mind, he'll sometimes reach for one of his old game-model bats, now stashed near his office desk. Those indoor swings are enough for the three-time American League Most Valuable Player, who says that he is retired and has "zero" urge to play again.

Rodriguez arrived in Yankees camp on Tuesday, embracing his new role as a special guest instructor. Just six months after stepping into the box for what he promises was his final Major League at-bat, Rodriguez's new assignment will be to help guide the team's next generation of players.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury joins Yanks camp after birth of child

Outfielder, Gardner viewed as keys to boosting club's lineup this season

Ellsbury joins Yanks camp after birth of child

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have their full roster in camp following the arrival of outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who was granted a late report because his wife, Kelsey, was delivering the couple's second child.

Ellsbury participated in batting practice on a back diamond of the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex on Tuesday, hitting in a group with Matt Holliday, Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lefty Bleier traded to O's for PTBN or cash

Lefty Bleier traded to O's for PTBN or cash

The Yankees traded left-hander Richard Bleier to the Orioles on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Bleier had been designated for assignment to make room for recently signed Chris Carter.

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

Bird out to prove he's healthy, ready to play

Yanks 1B more focused on returning strong than position battle

Bird out to prove he's healthy, ready to play

TAMPA, Fla. -- Greg Bird isn't concerned about an upcoming battle for playing time with Chris Carter. After missing all of last season while recovering from right labrum surgery, the Yankees first baseman just wants to prove that his swing is back to normal.

"I'm fighting to prove that I'm healthy and can play," Bird said. "I'm not fighting against anyone in particular. I'm just trying to play and play at a high level again and get better and become the best possible player that I can be."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Niese 'proud' to wear Yankees uniform

According to Girardi, versatile lefty competing for spot in 'pen

Niese 'proud' to wear Yankees uniform

TAMPA, Fla. -- Now that Jonathon Niese has traded the Mets' orange and blue for Yankees pinstripes, he's hoping to find out what it will be like to pitch on the other side of a Subway Series this summer.

After agreeing to a Minor League contract with the Yankees, Niese was in uniform for Monday's workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Niese will compete for a spot in the bullpen.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gardner glad to be a Yankee for 10th season

Club's longest-tenured player reflects on career, advises young players

Gardner glad to be a Yankee for 10th season

TAMPA, Fla. -- To Brett Gardner, it still seems like yesterday that he was viewed as one of the Yankees' rising prospects, attending Spring Training with a football number on his back while wedging his belongings into a locker between Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.

As he prepares for a 10th season in pinstripes, Gardner has upgraded his real estate in the home clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field, taking over a corner locker previously used by Carlos Beltran -- an honor befitting the Yankees' longest-tenured player.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod visiting Yanks camp as special instructor

A-Rod visiting Yanks camp as special instructor

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees believe that Alex Rodriguez has a wealth of information to pass on to their young players, and that can begin on Tuesday, when he'll put the pinstripes back on as one of the team's special guest instructors.

Rodriguez played his final game for the Yankees on August 12, announcing that he had accepted a role serving as an advisor under managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. He was released from a contract that will pay him $21 million not to play this season.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hair today, gone tomorrow: Frazier trims locks

Girardi says No. 1 Yankees prospect's 'do up to code

Hair today, gone tomorrow: Frazier trims locks

TAMPA, Fla. -- Clint Frazier may no longer feel like discussing his flowing locks, but that didn't stop the prospect's hair from garnering attention during Sunday's first Yankees full-squad workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Frazier said that he trimmed several inches off the day before the Super Bowl, but the 22-year-old took the field with a healthy amount of red peeking out from under his ballcap. The look was up to code, manager Joe Girardi said.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betances has 'no regrets' about his comments

Day after replying to Levine, reliever part of Yanks' first full-squad workout

Betances has 'no regrets' about his comments

TAMPA, Fla. -- One day after responding to comments made by Yankees president Randy Levine, Dellin Betances said he had "no regrets" after participating in the team's first full-squad workout Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

"I'm in a good mindset. I feel good in that area," Betances said. "I don't regret anything I said [Saturday]. I had to get it off my chest and I did. I'm just trying to put it behind me. I'm back with the guys and I feel at ease when I'm here practicing."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glove Day 'like Christmas' for Yankees

Glove Day 'like Christmas' for Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. -- The aroma of new leather filled the hallway outside of the home clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field early Sunday morning, announcing an event that each player looks forward to all winter long: Glove Day.

For the Yankees, it was not only the date of their first full-squad workout, but it was also an opportunity for players supplied by Wilson Sporting Goods to begin flexing the 2017 gear. One by one, they dug into a row of nine duffel bags with excitement, claiming their prizes.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carter excited to don pinstripes, play at Yankee Stadium

Carter excited to don pinstripes, play at Yankee Stadium

TAMPA, Fla. -- After calling the cities of Oakland, Houston and Milwaukee home through his first seven years in the big leagues, Chris Carter said that he can already tell the atmosphere is different with the Yankees, and the slugger can't wait to try on the pinstripes for real.

"It's kind of surreal," Carter said on Saturday, eyeing his locker space in the home clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field. "It's one of those teams where they've always had that legacy and prestige, a winning organization with history. It's going to be fun to play here."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Levine, Betances at odds after arbitration results

Yankees prevail vs. reliever, set to earn $3M in 2017

Levine, Betances at odds after arbitration results

TAMPA, Fla. -- Attending an arbitration hearing was an unpleasant experience for Dellin Betances, who had hoped to put those 90 minutes in the past and return to a more familiar setting on Saturday. The first day back in uniform proved to be anything but routine for the All-Star reliever.

Shortly after a panel of arbitrators determined that Betances' 2017 salary would be $3 million and not the $5 million requested by the player, Yankees president Randy Levine held a conference call during which he said that the right-hander was "a victim" of agent Jim Murray's "attempt to change the marketplace in baseball."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Austin fractures foot, changes Yanks' 1B outlook

25-year-old, out at least 6 weeks, was expected to compete for roster spot

Austin fractures foot, changes Yanks' 1B outlook

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tyler Austin's bid to make the Yankees' Opening Day roster ended before it could officially begin.

One day before Yankees position players were scheduled to report to camp, Austin was diagnosed with a small navicular fracture of his left foot. He will wear a boot for three weeks and will not resume baseball activities for at least six weeks, manager Joe Girardi said.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Betances arbitration decision par for the course

Betances arbitration decision par for the course

TAMPA, Fla. -- Randy Levine's remarks were rough. But they weren't incorrect.

The Yankees president had a barn-burner of a conference call with reporters Saturday about Dellin Betances' arbitration hearing, and Betances would later indicate he was as at least as upset about Levine's public comments as he was about the hearing's result, in which a three-person arbitration panel ruled he will receive the $3 million the Yanks were offering him for 2017, as opposed to the $5 million he was requesting.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Howard was a man of firsts for Yanks, MLB

Former catcher was first black Yankees player, AL MVP Award winner, AL coach

Howard was a man of firsts for Yanks, MLB

It has been more than 60 years since Elston Howard dressed in a road-gray Yankees uniform and stepped into the batter's box at Fenway Park, becoming the first African-American man to play for the game's winningest franchise.

Howard made his Major League debut on April 14, 1955, and the talented prospect's presence was felt almost immediately as he laced an eighth-inning single to center field to drive home Mickey Mantle from second base.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees sign slugger Carter to one-year deal

Lefty Bleier designated for assignment

Yankees sign slugger Carter to one-year deal

The Yankees officially signed slugger Chris Carter to a one-year contract on Thursday, adding depth to what should be an interesting first base/designated hitter mix in the Bronx in 2017.

The deal is worth $3.5 million for one year, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reported earlier this month. The club designated left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier for assignment in a corresponding move.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman eager to see position battles play out

Yankees have many young players vying for starting spots in 2017

Cashman eager to see position battles play out

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Yankees have already seen Greg Bird, Aaron Judge and Luis Severino produce glimpses of success on the big league stage, and if that trio can deliver on their promise this spring, the club's decision-making process could become a whole lot easier.

General manager Brian Cashman acknowledges that "Bird is a guy that we kind of hope takes first base," based on his potential and their roster situation, but the organization is vowing not to play favorites as battles at first base, right field and several pitching spots are set to begin.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kaprielian could reach Majors this year

Girardi confident in prospect's big league trajectory

Kaprielian could reach Majors this year

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it's possible top pitching prospect James Kaprielian could be with the Major League club at some point during the 2017 season.

However, Girardi made it clear that Kaprielian, the 16th overall pick in the 2015 Draft, will not be rushed and his innings will be managed while he is in the Minor Leagues.

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Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez doesn't feel pressure after rookie heroics

Rodriguez to work with Yanks' shortstops at Spring Training

Sanchez doesn't feel pressure after rookie heroics

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is not taking anything for granted after his strong rookie season.

Sanchez, who hit .299 with 20 home runs and 42 RBIs in 53 games in 2016, said he will work this spring as if he is fighting for a roster spot.

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Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman: Yanks have 'more in the tank'

Cashman: Yanks have 'more in the tank'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees general manager Brian Cashman understands that the future looks bright for the organization, but he is also excited about this upcoming season.

"We are in transition, but we're not waving any white flags while we're transitioning," Cashman said. "That's the balancing act that we're taking. [This season] has a chance to be a pretty interesting year for us."

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Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Different feel at Yanks camp for Steinbrenner

Managing general partner excited about club's mix of young and veteran players

Different feel at Yanks camp for Steinbrenner

TAMPA, Fla. -- It has been a long time since Hal Steinbrenner was this excited about the talent coming through his organization's pipeline, the Yankees' managing general partner said following Wednesday's first on-field workout for pitchers and catchers.

"The expectations are great, as they always are. It's a time of new hope, Spring Training," Steinbrenner said. "But this feels different. We've got a great crop of good young players and a good crop of veterans as well.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka's attention on 2017 goals, not future

Yankees' ace can opt out of contract after upcoming season

Tanaka's attention on 2017 goals, not future

TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka is well aware of the language contained in his contract, which gives him the option to become a free agent after this season. He said on Wednesday that it will not create a distraction, as his full focus is on serving as the Yankees' ace.

"Basically, it's just business as usual," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I don't necessarily think about it. I know what it says in the contract. Obviously it's there, but it's not something that you ponder about and think about during the season. In my mind, it's just not there."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Finishing off hitters, innings key for Pineda

Yankees right-hander struggled with two outs, two strikes last year

Finishing off hitters, innings key for Pineda

TAMPA, Fla. -- Michael Pineda beamed on Wednesday morning when he heard what Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia had said a day earlier, lauding the right-hander as having the potential to bring home hardware in any given season.

"Big Mike, I always come in to Spring Training and say this is the year he's going to win the Cy Young," Sabathia said. "He's just got so much talent and he just needs to put it all together, but he's right there."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Girardi compares youth to beginning of dynasty

With many established vets gone, competition will heat up this spring

Girardi compares youth to beginning of dynasty

TAMPA, Fla. -- As he begins his 10th season as the Yankees' manager, Joe Girardi has grown accustomed to peeking around his office doorway to see a parade of established stars walking past, marching toward their round numbers and compelling cases for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

It does feel different now, as he surveys a crowd of fresh faces who were probably asking their parents for Beanie Babies, Nintendo 64s and Tickle Me Elmos back in the summer of 1996. Yet Girardi can't help but recall the dawn of that dynasty, when he was busy taking over as the Yanks' starting catcher.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.