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Didi takes ownership of 3rd spot in lineup

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The Yankees headed north after Spring Training envisioning Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton as a lethal force hitting back-to-back, but now that they have seen what Didi Gregorius can do between those sluggers, manager Aaron Boone has no plans to dislodge his shortstop from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

"I like how it looks right now. I like the feel of it," Boone said. "I think guys are starting to, up and down, have more of those quality at-bats. I don't know if it's so much lineup-related or guys just starting to get on track a little bit, but it definitely has a good feel to me right now. No question."

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees headed north after Spring Training envisioning Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton as a lethal force hitting back-to-back, but now that they have seen what Didi Gregorius can do between those sluggers, manager Aaron Boone has no plans to dislodge his shortstop from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

"I like how it looks right now. I like the feel of it," Boone said. "I think guys are starting to, up and down, have more of those quality at-bats. I don't know if it's so much lineup-related or guys just starting to get on track a little bit, but it definitely has a good feel to me right now. No question."

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Boone also likes the left-right-left-right arrangement of Brett Gardner, Judge, Gregorius and Stanton at the top of the order. Gregorius hit a grand slam in Monday's 14-1 victory over the Twins and entered play on Tuesday leading the Majors in RBIs (24) and slugging percentage (.746). He also carried a seven-game hitting streak into Tuesday's contest.

Boone watched Gregorius during the early part of his career with the Reds and D-backs, but through 21 games piloting the Yankees, he has come away with a deeper appreciation of how much Gregorius loves to play the game.

"I always thought he could be a really good player, but to see him come here and get better and better every year ... Now I think he's taken another step this year," Boone said. "In a way I'm not surprised, but he's continued to get better and better [on his way] to being one of the really good all-around players in our league."

Cole train

The Yankees added right-hander A.J. Cole to the active roster on Tuesday, one day after acquiring the 26-year-old from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations. Cole replaces right-hander David Hale, who was designated for assignment after pitching two scoreless innings in Monday's victory.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

"He's stretched out as a starter right now, which is helpful for us," Boone said of Cole. "We do feel like there's some upside from a stuff standpoint, being a little bit younger, and he has had some points of success in the big leagues. He's a guy that throws pretty hard, with a good breaking ball.

"We're hoping maybe a change of scenery is a spark for him and he can give us something. But we feel good about having him down in our bullpen right now if we get into a situation where we need some length. Who knows? Maybe down the road he becomes an option to be a starter at some point, too."

Bombers bits

• The Yankees are awaiting word on Tyler Austin's suspension, but with that discipline imminent, Boone wants to get Neil Walker's bat going, especially against right-handed pitching. Walker entered play on Tuesday batting .183 in 60 at-bats, and 8-for-46 against righties.

"Getting him going is important because he adds length to our lineup as a switch-hitter," Boone said. "When he's right, he's a real quality big league hitter."

• Boone plans to have Austin Romine catch the struggling Sonny Gray in Wednesday's 6:35 p.m. ET contest against the Twins, with Gary Sanchez set to catch Thursday's matinee.

"I don't want to get too much into, 'He's catching this guy all the time,'" Boone said, "but … when you have those chances when there is a day-game-night-game situation, or I know Gary is going to get a day, we'll pick the matchup that we like a little bit better. We'll be cognizant of that."

Brandon Drury (severe migraines) remains on schedule to play in a Minor League rehab game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) is expected to travel to the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., when the team flies to the West Coast on Friday, and could soon begin playing in Minor League games.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, A.J. Cole, Didi Gregorius

Yanks' bats erupt behind Tanaka to rout Twins

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The last time these two clubs met, placing their respective seasons on the line for last year's win-or-winter American League Wild Card Game, the Yankees stared at a three-run deficit before their first turn at bat. Unlike that October evening on these same grounds, this outcome never appeared to be much in doubt.

Miguel Andujar continued his torrid extra-base hit streak, Giancarlo Stanton reached the bleachers as part of a four-hit performance and Didi Gregorius hit an eighth-inning grand slam, supporting Masahiro Tanaka's excellent effort as the Yankees rolled to a 14-1 victory over the Twins on Monday evening at Yankee Stadium.

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NEW YORK -- The last time these two clubs met, placing their respective seasons on the line for last year's win-or-winter American League Wild Card Game, the Yankees stared at a three-run deficit before their first turn at bat. Unlike that October evening on these same grounds, this outcome never appeared to be much in doubt.

Miguel Andujar continued his torrid extra-base hit streak, Giancarlo Stanton reached the bleachers as part of a four-hit performance and Didi Gregorius hit an eighth-inning grand slam, supporting Masahiro Tanaka's excellent effort as the Yankees rolled to a 14-1 victory over the Twins on Monday evening at Yankee Stadium.

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Video: MIN@NYY: Gregorius hammers a grand slam to right

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

"We're going to hurt you, one through nine," Stanton said. "Once we're all clicking, it's going to be a fun sight."

Behind Tanaka, who stifled Minnesota in front of a crowd of 39,249, the Yankees won their third straight contest. Permitting a run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings, the right-hander retired nine straight through one stretch and was touched only by Brian Dozier's fifth-inning RBI single, which extended the infielder's hitting streak to 17 games (and 24 games dating back to 2017).

"The fastball command was there tonight," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I think it was there more than any other night, or any other game, this season. Because of having that, I was able to effectively use the splitter and sliders as offspeed pitches."

Video: MIN@NYY: Stanton, Andujar, Sanchez, Didi lead Yanks

Tanaka walked two and struck out five, keeping Minnesota in the yard to mark his first homerless effort in five starts. He received swift support as Gary Sanchez roped a two-run double and Aaron Hicks laced a run-scoring single as part of a three-run first inning against starter Jake Odorizzi, who needed 34 pitches to record the first three outs of the evening.

Andujar led off the second inning with his third big league homer, marking the rookie's seventh straight game with an extra-base hit. Andujar -- who also doubled in the sixth -- joined Yankees royalty by placing his name alongside those of Joe DiMaggio (1937) and Mickey Mantle (1955), the only Bombers to enjoy such a streak prior to their 24th birthday.

Video: MIN@NYY: Andujar smashes a 110.4-mph home run

"It's a big honor. I'm super happy about that," Andujar said through an interpreter. "For my name to be in the same sentence with those guys means a lot. And now, we want to keep doing the same thing. Keep hitting."

Stanton delivered the knockout blow to Odorizzi in the fifth, pouncing on a hanging curveball to mash a Statcast-calculated 435-foot blast into the left-field bleacher area, his fifth homer as a Yankee. The reigning National League Most Valuable Player Award winner added a run-scoring single off Alan Busenitz as part of a three-run seventh inning, which also featured a two-run double by Tyler Austin.

Video: MIN@NYY: Statcast™ tracks Stanton's 115.7-mph HR

Gregorius' second career grand slam came off Tyler Kinley, two batters after top prospect Gleyber Torres collected his first Major League hit, a single to center field.

"I think the weather has something to do with it," Gregorius said. "It's getting warmer. We're getting warmer, too. We're getting hot. Everybody is doing what they're supposed to do. That's what you want from everybody. That's one thing that keeps us going. Everybody is feeding off each other, staying positive and playing the game the right way."

Video: MIN@NYY: Boone on Stanton, Torres, Tanaka after win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Stanton's fifth-inning homer was a jaw-dropping drive, coming off the bat at 115.7 mph and traveling a Statcast-calculated 435 feet, but manager Aaron Boone seemed just as impressed by the slugger's first-inning plate appearance. New York had Brett Gardner at second base with two outs, and Stanton battled back from an 0-2 count to work a walk that helped key a three-run first inning, with RBI knocks by Sanchez and Hicks.

Video: MIN@NYY: Stanton homers, collects four hits vs. Twins

"Tonight was a great night, up and down," Boone said. "Quality at-bats kicking it off in the first. Man on second, 0-2 count, two outs. Three runs get put on the board just because guys keep having quality at-bats and grinding through it. Masa took it from there. Just a good all-around night, all around."

SOUND SMART
Andujar is one of four players his age (23 years, 52 days) or younger to have a seven-game extra-base hit streak over the last 20 seasons. He has joined Cody Bellinger (seven games in 2017), Corey Seager (seven games in '16), Freddy Freeman (10 games in '12) and Albert Pujols (seven games in '01).

"I've seen it since I was with him in Low-A Charleston," Aaron Judge said. "The guy can hit, hit for power, hit to all fields. It's fun to watch. ... At a young age when I played with him in Charleston, he was pretty young for that league, but he was just consistent every day. If he was 4-for-4 or 0-for-4, he had this demeanor about him that he was always the same. He went out to play every day."

Video: MIN@NYY: Stanton, Andujar, Torres on Yanks' offense

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
At 21 years and 131 days, Torres was the youngest Yankee to notch a hit since Melky Cabrera (20 years, 338 days) did so on July 15, 2005, at Boston. Torres went hitless in his first seven at-bats after making his debut on Sunday vs. Toronto.

Video: MIN@NYY: Torres singles to center for first MLB hit

"The first day, I really wanted to make the first base hit, but I waited for today," Torres said. "Every at-bat, I'm getting more comfortable."

UP NEXT
Left-hander CC Sabathia (0-0, 2.70 ERA) draws the start in Tuesday's 6:35 p.m. ET contest as the Yankees continue their four-game series against the Twins. It will be Sabathia's second start since coming off the disabled list following a right hip strain; he received a no-decision in his return last Thursday, allowing two runs (none earned) over 4 1/3 innings to the Blue Jays. Right-hander Jose Berrios will start for Minnesota.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Big night for Big G (HR, 4-for-4) in win

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The jaw-dropping drive that will make all of the highlight reels from Monday's 14-1 Yankees victory over the Twins was Giancarlo Stanton's fifth-inning blast to the left-field bleachers, a titanic home run that showcased the superstar's power in convincing fashion.

Yet the plate appearance that excited the Yankees almost as much may have been -- of all things -- a first-inning walk. They believe that free pass teed up Stanton's 4-for-4 performance, as well as the Yankees' persistent attack against Minnesota starter Jake Odorizzi.

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NEW YORK -- The jaw-dropping drive that will make all of the highlight reels from Monday's 14-1 Yankees victory over the Twins was Giancarlo Stanton's fifth-inning blast to the left-field bleachers, a titanic home run that showcased the superstar's power in convincing fashion.

Yet the plate appearance that excited the Yankees almost as much may have been -- of all things -- a first-inning walk. They believe that free pass teed up Stanton's 4-for-4 performance, as well as the Yankees' persistent attack against Minnesota starter Jake Odorizzi.

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"I've been feeling more comfortable," Stanton said. "It was a good day of five good [plate appearances]. Give myself a good chance every at-bat of the game."

As manager Aaron Boone later recounted, Stanton had been at bat in the first inning with Brett Gardner at second base, two outs, and facing an 0-2 count. Stanton spit on a slider, cutter and two fastballs from Odorizzi to work the free pass, then raced home when Gary Sanchez ripped a two-run double two pitches later.

Video: MIN@NYY: Sanchez opens scoring with a two-run double

"He kind of set the tone. He was the guy," Boone said of Stanton. "0-2 count, first inning -- battle, battle, battle, walk. Then he gets the hit. Then home run. Then a couple of sharp-hit balls for add-ons. Really good night for him, and hopefully something that continues to build a little bit of momentum for him toward being the guy that we know he is."

Video: MIN@NYY: Boone on Stanton, Torres, Tanaka after win

Stanton banged a third-inning single to right field before delivering the knockout blow on Odorizzi in the fifth, slugging his fifth home run as a member of the Yankees. The blast came off his bat at 115.7 mph and traveled a Statcast-calculated 435 feet, making it the fourth-longest homer hit by a Yankee so far this year.

Video: MIN@NYY: Statcast™ tracks Stanton's 115.7-mph HR

Stanton drilled a run-scoring single to greet Alan Busenitz in the seventh inning and singled again off Tyler Kinley in the eighth to notch his first four-hit game with the Bombers, raising his average from .185 to .224. It marked Stanton's seventh career game reaching base at least five times, and his fifth career game with four or more hits.

Video: MIN@NYY: Stanton plates Judge with an RBI single

Stanton hadn't enjoyed a multihit game since April 11 at Boston. Standing in front of his locker Monday, he grinned and mentioned that nothing has been easy thus far. When someone followed up on that comment, the slugger quipped: "You ever see a 95-mph fastball?"

"I'm getting to work, man," Stanton said. "Just working, working. Getting the feel right. I've got more to do."

Video: MIN@NYY: Stanton, Andujar, Torres on Yanks' offense

After Stanton endured a 50-at-bat homerless streak between an April 4 homer and his fourth Yankees homer on Friday against the Blue Jays -- the ninth-longest such streak of his career -- the Yanks are delighted to see signs that Stanton's timing is coming around.

"As a hitter, you always love those nights, especially when it's early and you're off to a tough start," Boone said. "You want to start gaining some traction. It can help settle you in and get more and more comfortable."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Yanks top prospect Torres tallies 1st career hit

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Gleyber Torres collected the first of what the Yankees expect will be many big league hits on Monday during a 14-1 win, stroking an eighth-inning single to center field off the Twins' Tyler Kinley.

Rated as the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Torres made his debut in Sunday's win over the Blue Jays. He was hitless in his first seven at-bats before the knock, and he came around to score on a grand slam by Didi Gregorius, which gave the Yanks a 12-1 lead.

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NEW YORK -- Gleyber Torres collected the first of what the Yankees expect will be many big league hits on Monday during a 14-1 win, stroking an eighth-inning single to center field off the Twins' Tyler Kinley.

Rated as the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Torres made his debut in Sunday's win over the Blue Jays. He was hitless in his first seven at-bats before the knock, and he came around to score on a grand slam by Didi Gregorius, which gave the Yanks a 12-1 lead.

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Video: MIN@NYY: Gregorius hammers a grand slam to right

"Everybody was happy and excited for my first base hit," Torres said. "I feel good. I feel super happy, too, and today, super excited."

Torres beamed as the ball was tossed to the Yankees' dugout, where pitcher Luis Severino scooped it on a bounce and pretended to toss the memento into the seats before finding a safe spot on the bench.

Torres said that he would save the ball and show it to his family.

"It was cool," manager Aaron Boone said. "The guys were really excited about it for him. It was cool to see everyone from CC [Sabathia] on down to the young guys excited when that hit fell in.

"I thought he had some good at-bats tonight. He's doing a pretty good job of controlling the zone. I thought he was on a couple of pitches when he popped up, but I think the at-bat quality was solid all night. Good to get that first hit out of the way, and hopefully he can be on his way now."

Torres said that his nerves were calmer than they had been for his debut on Sunday. At 21 years and 131 days, he is the youngest Yankee to record a hit since Melky Cabrera (20 years, 338 days) on July 15, 2005, at Boston.

"That was good," Giancarlo Stanton said. "That's always good to see that, to get them going here. A lot more to come."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Andujar extends XBH streak to 7 games

Prospect producing while Drury progresses
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Miguel Andujar's historic extra-base hit streak is turning heads throughout the Major Leagues, but it has come as no surprise to Aaron Judge, who saw the hot-hitting infielder go on similar tears during their 2014 season together with Class A Charleston.

"He was pretty young for that league, but he was just consistent every day," Judge said after the Yankees' 14-1 win over the Twins. "If he was 4-for-4 or 0-for-4, he had this demeanor about him that he was always the same. He went out to play every day, and when you've got guys with that type of attitude, they're going to play at this level and be consistent at this level. That's what I saw out of Miggy at a young age."

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NEW YORK -- Miguel Andujar's historic extra-base hit streak is turning heads throughout the Major Leagues, but it has come as no surprise to Aaron Judge, who saw the hot-hitting infielder go on similar tears during their 2014 season together with Class A Charleston.

"He was pretty young for that league, but he was just consistent every day," Judge said after the Yankees' 14-1 win over the Twins. "If he was 4-for-4 or 0-for-4, he had this demeanor about him that he was always the same. He went out to play every day, and when you've got guys with that type of attitude, they're going to play at this level and be consistent at this level. That's what I saw out of Miggy at a young age."

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The 23-year-old Andujar has etched his name alongside Yankees royalty, homering with a double on Monday to make it seven straight games with an extra-base hit. Joe DiMaggio (1937) and Mickey Mantle (1955) were the only previous Yankees to string seven consecutive games with an extra-base hit before age 24.

Video: MIN@NYY: Andujar doubles for his fifth multi-XBH game

"Right now, it's about sticking to the plan and going out there with an approach and staying with that," Andujar said. "Just looking for a good pitch to hit and make sure that I make good contact."

Andujar is tied with the Pirates' Corey Dickerson for the longest extra-base hit streak in the Majors this season. Andujar is batting .517/.533/1.172 (15-for-29) over the stretch with eight runs, eight doubles, a triple, three homers and eight RBIs. His 14 career extra-base hits are the second-most by a Yankee through 19 career games; DiMaggio had 16.

"He's a really gifted hitter," manager Aaron Boone said. "He's gotten comfortable, and now we're seeing what a gifted hitter can do."

Video: MIN@NYY: Sterling calls Andujar's solo home run

Comeback trail
The Yankees are pleased that they appear to have an answer for what has kept Brandon Drury out of the lineup, and the infielder has been tabbed to play in a Minor League rehab game on Wednesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Columbus.

Video: Boone discusses Drury going on the 10-day DL

Sidelined by severe migraines that caused blurry vision, Drury said that a battery of tests revealed his issues stem from a tendon that runs from the back of his neck to the top of his head. He has been receiving treatment with acupuncture and stimulation.

"I think they have an idea of what it is, and we're going after it each day to figure out how to get it a little bit better," Drury said. "I've had it for a while. It's just nice to have some answers of what it is. Hopefully, I can really get back to 100 percent and play the way I know I can."

Return to action
Clint Frazier was back in a lineup on Monday for the first time since late February, playing five innings and logging five at-bats in an extended spring game in Clearwater, Fla.

Prior to that contest, Frazier had not taken the field in a game situation since sustaining a concussion in the Yankees' second game of the spring. Boone said that Frazier got a hit, reached on an error and stole a base, coming out feeling "really good."

"It's a really positive step for him," Boone said. "Clint feels like he's finally through it and on his way now. Now it's about getting games under his belt and bouncing back every day."

Boone said that Frazier is scheduled to play in another extended spring game on Tuesday, then work out with Class A Advanced Tampa on Wednesday before playing on Thursday against Charlotte.

Slow going
Frazier has moved ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, who has no set date to play in Minor League games. Ellsbury played in six Grapefruit League games this spring and has since dealt with a right oblique strain, left hip soreness and plantar fasciitis in his right heel.

"I do expect him to be a player for us at some point this season," Boone said. "He is doing baseball activities and moving in the right direction. As far as a timetable, I'd kind of be guessing at that."

Bombers bits
• Boone said that the Yankees expect a ruling "in the next couple of days" regarding infielder/outfielder Tyler Austin, who is continuing to play following his appeal of a five-game suspension for his role in an April 11 benches-clearing incident against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Video: NYY@BOS: Benches clear after Austin is hit by pitch

• The first 18,000 guests on Monday received bobbleheads in commemoration of David Wells' perfect game, which was pitched against the Twins 20 years ago (with a 10-year-old Dellin Betances in the bleachers). Wells was on hand at Yankee Stadium to throw out Monday's ceremonial first pitch.

Video: MIN@NYY: Wells throws first pitch on bobblehead day

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Brandon Drury

These are the Top 30 international prospects

MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

Long before Louis Eljaua rose to special assistant to the president and general manager of the Cubs, he was the young and energetic top international scout for the Marlins. Back then, his boss was Al Avila, now the general manager for the Tigers.

Eljaua vividly recalls a conversation with Avila in 1998 like it happened yesterday. Each time he tells the story of that famous call, he puts his right thumb to his ear and talks into his right pinkie like it's the old hotel phone he used.

Long before Louis Eljaua rose to special assistant to the president and general manager of the Cubs, he was the young and energetic top international scout for the Marlins. Back then, his boss was Al Avila, now the general manager for the Tigers.

Eljaua vividly recalls a conversation with Avila in 1998 like it happened yesterday. Each time he tells the story of that famous call, he puts his right thumb to his ear and talks into his right pinkie like it's the old hotel phone he used.

Top 30 International Prospects list

"I found the guy, Al! I found the guy our owner was looking for. He's 15. Come to Venezuela," Eljaua shrieked through the phone.

Avila, who was in Miami at the time, was not pleased to hear the news. The Marlins had never spent more than $30,000 on an international teen.

Top International Prospects

"Are you crazy, Louis? [Owner] John Henry gives us money and you are going to spend it all on your first trip and the first kid you see? Are you trying to get us all fired? What is wrong with you?"

"I know, I know," Eljaua answered. "Just come see the kid. He's good. You won't be sorry."

That kid was Miguel Cabrera. And less than a year later, the teenager signed with the Marlins for $1.8 million to launch his future Hall of Fame career and forever set the standard for international teenage prospects.

The hunt for the next Cabrera continues, and each year an increasing number of prospects sign when the international signing period begins on July 2; hundreds more will join Major League organizations later this summer.

Led by catcher Diego Cartaya -- who like Cabrera is from Maracay, Venezuela -- the players on MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 30 International Prospects list represent the greatest young talent from across the globe eligible to sign on July 2.

The ultimate goal is nabbing a baseball unicorn like Cabrera. But signing a horse like Cartaya, a hard-hitting catcher with advanced skills, or other emerging international prospects also offer teams options.

Video: Top International Prospects: Diego Cartaya, C

Remember, the Cubs traded top teen Gleyber Torres of Venezuela to the Yankees as part of a deal for Aroldis Chapman in 2016, and the rest is World Series history. Last year, they traded the Dominican Republic's Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox in a deal for Jose Quintana. Both are the top prospects in their organizations. Back in '16, the Red Sox traded Yoan Moncada in a package to the White Sox for pitcher Chris Sale. The A's acquired Franklin Barreto from the Blue Jays in a deal for third baseman Josh Donaldson in '14.

"If you are not investing time and money and effort to sign international players, you are missing out on making your organization one of the best in the game," Eljaua said. "Why would you ignore a market and just focus on one or two ways to acquire talent when these guys are going to play in your system, hopefully in the big leagues, or be a part of a package that helps you fill a missing piece? And it's not all about the money and paying the most money. It's about scouting and working and finding out about makeup and helping your entire system."

Who is signing whom
More than 950 prospects have signed during the international signing period that started July 2, 2017, and that number could increase during the 2018-19 period, because there are thousands who have registered to become eligible.

In addition to prospects from traditional baseball hot spots like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and the Bahamas, there are also prospects from places like Europe, the Caribbean islands and Asia who have also registered.

Video: Top International Prospects: Marco Luciano, OF

As far as the list is concerned, the Dodgers are the favorites to sign Cartaya. Marco Luciano, a power-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, a close second behind Cartaya in the rankings, is linked to the Giants. Outfielder Misael Urbina of Venezuela, who is ranked No. 3, is an advanced hitter expected to have an above-average hit tool and plus speed. He is linked to the Twins. Rounding out the top five is Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Richard Gallardo, linked to the Cubs, and Orelvis Martinez, a power-hitting shortstop from the D.R. sometimes compared to a young Adrian Beltre. The Blue Jays are the favorite to sign Martinez.

Video: Richard Gallardo named top int'l pitching prospect

Breakdown
This year's Top 30 International Prospects list includes 10 players from Venezuela, 16 from the Dominican Republic, three from Cuba and one from Colombia. The positions break down like this: 11 outfielders, eight infielders, seven pitchers and four catchers.

The best athletes at premium positions are the most appealing to international scouts. Three of the top 13 are catchers and three of the top 10 are pitchers. Shortstops and center fielders are also highly coveted in this year's class.

International signing rules, spending
There are specific guidelines for signing prospects like Cartaya: An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of the next year if he is 17 or will turn 17 by the end of the first season of his contract.

Video: Cartaya tops MLB's international prospects list

The rules for signing international prospects are these: Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Rule 4 Draft receive a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive $5,504,500. All other clubs receive $4,983,500.

International amateur free agency & bonus pool money explained

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

In terms of spending, the Blue Jays, Brewers, D-backs, Mariners, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies, Tigers, Twins and Yankees are expected to be aggressive in the upcoming signing period. The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Royals -- teams that will no longer be in the penalty for exceeding their past international bonus pool spending -- are also expected to be very active.

The A's, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres, Reds and White Sox are in the maximum penalty, so they cannot sign players for more than $300,000 during the upcoming period.

"We are all looking for the next Miguel Cabrera, but I think it's unfair to compare anybody to him because he was just on another level," Eljaua said. "But the reality is, my old team already paid me for that sign. I'm getting paid to find another one. That's what the job is."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Yankees acquire righty Cole from Nationals

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Adding depth to the back end of their pitching staff, the Yankees acquired right-hander A.J. Cole from the Nationals on Monday evening in exchange for cash considerations.

Cole, 26, broke camp in Washington's rotation at the start of this season and made two starts before being shuttled to the bullpen. He was designated for assignment on Friday.

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NEW YORK -- Adding depth to the back end of their pitching staff, the Yankees acquired right-hander A.J. Cole from the Nationals on Monday evening in exchange for cash considerations.

Cole, 26, broke camp in Washington's rotation at the start of this season and made two starts before being shuttled to the bullpen. He was designated for assignment on Friday.

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In four big league seasons with Washington, Cole posted a 5.32 ERA in 110 innings. He made four appearances this year, going 1-1 with a 13.06 ERA. Cole was once a touted prospect after the Nationals selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft.

Cole will be added to the Yankees' 25-man roster. Right-hander David Hale was designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Making his Yankees debut, Hale pitched two scoreless innings in New York's 14-1 victory over the Twins on Monday.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, A.J. Cole

Sterling's call for Miguel Andujar is a must-listen

Yankees' No. 4 prospect Miguel Andujar is making his debut this season. Over the last week, he's been on an absolute tear -- hitting .563/.563/1.188 with 10 hits, five runs and seven RBIs in five games. He also has three home runs, including one against the Twins on Monday night.

And, of course, you know what that means. It means John "GOAT (?) of home run calls" Sterling has gifted us with a new bit of poetic genius you can tell all of your friends about. Take a listen in the main clip above, or with Andujar's very first career dinger from last Tuesday below.

David Wells throws first pitch to Gary Sanchez

The Yankees beat the Twins on May 17, 1998, by a score of 4-0. That afternoon, lefty David Wells threw the first perfect game for the Bronx Bombers in 40 years. 

With the Twins in town again on Monday, the Yankees celebrated the 20th anniversary of that historic game with David Wells Bobblehead Night -- complete with a return visit from the man himself.

Crowd loud for Gleyber in quiet Yanks debut

No. 5 overall prospect 'super happy' to be in bigs; goes 0-for-4 at plate
Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Getting called up to the Major Leagues was a dream come true for top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres. And even though Torres went hitless in the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday, he was still smiling when it was over.

"Super happy," Torres said, repeating the words he had used when he learned on Saturday that he was being promoted. "And I'm happy for how the team won."

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NEW YORK -- Getting called up to the Major Leagues was a dream come true for top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres. And even though Torres went hitless in the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday, he was still smiling when it was over.

"Super happy," Torres said, repeating the words he had used when he learned on Saturday that he was being promoted. "And I'm happy for how the team won."

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Video: TOR@NYY: Torres receives ovation before first at-bat

Torres got a quick taste of life as a Yankee, basking in the cheers of the crowd during the Bleacher Creatures' first-inning roll call. Torres later received a standing ovation when he came to the plate for the first time in the second inning, with many in the lower deck standing through his entire five-pitch at-bat.

Torres struck out in that at-bat on an 81-mph slider from Blue Jays starter Jaime Garcia, and he grounded into a double play, popped out and flied out in his final three trips to the plate. But Yankees manager Aaron Boone saw positives in the way Torres controlled the strike zone, working his way to a 3-1 count before the double-play grounder.

Video: TOR@NYY: Garcia gets a double play, escapes trouble

"The first at-bat, I thought he was really anxious," Boone said. "You could tell. But then he really settled in."

Torres had two chances in the field at second base, throwing out Devon Travis in the fifth inning and starting a double play in the sixth on Yangervis Solarte's grounder.

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres makes his first play in the field

Called up before the game from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Torres -- MLB's No. 5 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline -- is the youngest player to debut before July 1 for the storied franchise since Derek Jeter took the field on May 29, 1995. The infielder struggled in Spring Training -- his first action after recovering from Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow -- and compiled a .598 OPS over 13 Grapefruit League games. But Torres got off to a hot start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, putting together a .347/.393/.510 slash line with five extra-base hits before his callup.

"I'm super happy," Torres told reporters on Saturday in Moosic, Pa., where he was removed after six innings in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-5 loss to Toledo. "It's like a dream is coming true. I'm happy for my family."

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres on debut, what the moment means

The Yankees acquired Torres as part of the megadeal involving closer Aroldis Chapman in July 2016. Since Torres spent more than 20 days in the Minors to begin '18, his free agency will be delayed until after the 2024 season -- meaning he will be under team control for seven years, rather than six.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Andujar's 4 hits lift Yanks to series win over Jays

Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Years from now, if Gleyber Torres develops into the star the Yankees think he'll become, you can go ahead and tell people you remember his Major League debut. Just don't forget to mention Miguel Andujar's name.

Sunday may have been Gleyber Day in the Bronx, the first Major League game for a 21-year-old ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in the game. But while Torres had a quiet debut, going 0-for-4, the 23-year-old Andujar continued an impressive week with four hits in a 5-1 Yankees win over the Blue Jays. New York finished the weekend with a four-game series victory.

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NEW YORK -- Years from now, if Gleyber Torres develops into the star the Yankees think he'll become, you can go ahead and tell people you remember his Major League debut. Just don't forget to mention Miguel Andujar's name.

Sunday may have been Gleyber Day in the Bronx, the first Major League game for a 21-year-old ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in the game. But while Torres had a quiet debut, going 0-for-4, the 23-year-old Andujar continued an impressive week with four hits in a 5-1 Yankees win over the Blue Jays. New York finished the weekend with a four-game series victory.

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"I've known Miggy for two years, and I know he can hit," said Torres, who was teammates with Andujar in the 2016 Arizona Fall League. "I'm happy he has had a good week."

It's actually been a week-plus, an important 10 days for Andujar and maybe for the Yankees' future. He had been playing third base in place of the injured Brandon Drury, but through April 12, he was 3-for-28 with no extra-base hits. Meanwhile, the Yankees had Torres playing third base at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Video: TOR@NYY: Boone on Andujar's confidence, hit streak

In six games since, Andujar has gone 13-for-25 with seven doubles, a triple and two home runs. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Yankees shifted Torres back to second base and then called him up to play that position in the Major Leagues.

Andujar is now the third baseman, and when you added in Torres at second and 24-year-old Luis Severino on the mound, the Yankees had a young look Sunday that suggested good things to come. Severino allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings to win for the fourth time in five starts.

Shortstop Didi Gregorius, an elder statesman in this group at 28, also had a big day Sunday with a first-inning home run and a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

"It's what everyone's been talking about," Gregorius said. "We've got a lot of prospects."

Video: TOR@NYY: Gregorius belts a solo homer to right

Gregorius said when he saw Andujar before Sunday's game, the third baseman told him, "I'm feeling good."

"I told him, 'Show me,'" Gregorius said.

Andujar did just that. With a runner on first and one out in the second inning, he doubled down the left-field line to set up Austin Romine's two-run double later in the inning. Andujar added an infield hit in the fourth inning, a run-scoring double in the sixth and another infield hit in the eighth.

"To me, it's about getting an opportunity and doing your job," Andujar said through an interpreter. "I'm getting a great opportunity."

Video: TOR@NYY: Romine rips a two-run double to right

What he's showing at the plate isn't a surprise to Yankee players and coaches who have long expressed confidence in Andujar's bat.

"Everybody knows he can hit," Severino said.

Everybody believes Torres will hit, too, and no one will be too concerned about his hitless debut. Torres got a standing ovation when he came to the plate for his first Major League at-bat in the second inning, but he struck out against Jays starter Jaime Garcia. Torres grounded into a double play in the fourth, popped out in the sixth and flied out to right field in the eighth.

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres receives ovation before first at-bat

It was an 0-for-4, but maybe it was also the start of something bigger. And maybe in the future, people will remember Sunday for both Torres and Andujar.

"In Andujar and Gleyber, we have two really good players," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Severino goes seven: Boone started Severino on Opening Day, and he calls him the Yankees' ace. The skipper treated him that way Sunday, sending him back out for the seventh inning when Severino had already thrown a season-high 97 pitches. Severino made it through the seventh, finishing with 112 pitches.

Video: TOR@NYY: Severino fans six over seven strong innings

"To get us through seven was huge," Boone said. "That's what an ace looks like."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Yankees and the crowd thought Tyler Austin had an infield hit in the eighth inning Sunday, but first-base umpire Ted Barrett called him out. The Yankees asked for a replay review, believing shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s throw had pulled first baseman Justin Smoak off the bag. After review, the call was allowed to stand, causing Boone to raise his arms in the air and bringing loud boos from Yankee fans who believed the replay they saw showed Smoak's foot off the bag.

Video: TOR@NYY: Gurriel Jr. nabs Austin despite challenge

Boone later said the Yankees' replay room had some doubt the call would be overturned, because it wasn't clear where Smoak's foot was when he caught the ball.

UP NEXT
The Yankees and Twins, who met in the American League Wild Card Game last October, will be back at Yankee Stadium for a four-game series beginning with a 7:05 p.m. ET game Monday night. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 6.45 ERA) will be on the mound for the Yankees, with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 3.38 ERA) starting for the Twins.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, Austin Romine, Luis Severino

Hall of Fame opens new ALS exhibit

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