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Yankees Agree To A One-Year Deal With Second Baseman Neil Walker

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The New York Yankees have signed switch-hitting second baseman Neil Walker to a one-year contract.

The deal became official on Monday. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Walker will receive a base salary of $4 million. With incentives, his salary will be close to $5 million.

Walker, 32, is expected to compete for the Yankees starting second base job. He can also play first base, which means that he will likely be the backup to Greg Bird. In 111 games combined with the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers last season, Walker hit .265 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs.

Before the signing of Walker, the Yankees starting second base job was thought to be a competition between highly anticipated top prospect Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade. However, the team decided to option Torres to Triple-A on Tuesday, which means that he is no longer being considered to be the Opening Day second baseman.

With Torres now out of the picture, there is a good chance that Walker will be the Yankees starting second baseman when the regular season begins in a couple of weeks. Although Wade would also be a decent option, he lacks experience. He was called up by the Yankees in June of last season and batted .155 in 58 at-bats.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made a lot of smart moves this offseason. In the past few weeks alone, he has improved the team’s infield depth by signing Walker and acquiring third baseman/second baseman Brandon Drury from Arizona Diamondbacks. Walker and Drury can both play multiple positions.

Walker is expected to make his debut with the Yankees on Friday when they play the Houston Astros. He should get plenty of at-bats over the next few weeks as the Yankees try and evaluate what they have at second base. Considering who he is competing against, it will be very surprising if Walker does not end up winning the Yankees Opening Day second base job.

American League

Rangers to Target Top Free Agents

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Jon Daniels

The Texas Rangers are entering the offseason with plans of targeting some of the top tier free agents that will be available.

Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels made it clear that he was ready to bring the Rangers back as a major player in the free agent market.

“This year, we are going to look at everything,” Daniels said, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant. “Our goal is to get better, period. There are a couple of spots more [available] than others. We have signed [top free agents] before and at some point I have to suspect we will again.”

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American League

Yankees’ Brian Cashman Talks Gerrit Cole, Offseason Plans

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Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees expect to be busy this offseason, as they usually are, and among the teams trying to lure Gerrit Cole to join their rotation.

Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman discussed Cole, as well as the upcoming offseason for the Bronx Bombers.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, Cashman says that the Yankees will engage with both Houston Astros hurler Gerrit Cole and World Series Champion Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.

However, Cashman added that the Yankees already have a significant amount of money on the books, according to Newsday’s Erik Boland.

Cashman added that the Yankees will also explore the trade market, much like they did last season when they acquired James Paxton from the Seattle Seahawks, according to the New York Times’ James Wagner.

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American League

Red Sox Dustin Pedroia Attempting Return in 2020

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Dustin Pedroia

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has reportedly given “every indication” that he intends to play in 2020 says new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, according to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith.

Pedroia, 36, underwent a mid-season knee procedure that had many questioning his career.

“Every indication I’ve gotten is he’s feeling good and intending on playing,” Bloom says of Pedroia. “I know he’s working really hard to make sure he’s in as good of shape as possible,” Bloom said.

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