Brian Cashman is rooting for a Cubs-Indians World Series

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It’s been three months since Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman were dealing out of the Yankees’ bullpen, but New York general manager Brian Cashman still has his eye on them.

According to a conversation with the New York Daily News’ John Harper, the GM is hoping for a Cubs-Indians World Series that would showcase two of this season’s best relievers. Chapman was dealt to the Cubs prior to the 2016 trade deadline, sending Chicago right-hander Adam Warren, infield prospect Gleyber Torres, and outfielders Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford to New York, while Miller came over in a trade for Cleveland outfielder Clint Frazier and a trifecta of pitching prospects.

Neither the Cubs nor the Indians could have sustained their blistering playoff runs without the dominant performances of the two relievers. Chapman has fired 4 1/3 frames between the Division and Championship Series so far, his 2.08 ERA blemished only by a blown save in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Giants’ last-minute resurgence. Elsewhere, he’s been flawless, allowing a run, a walk, and striking out nine of 18 batters faced.

Miller, meanwhile, has yet to allow a run during postseason. On the heels of a season that saw his first All-Star nomination and a 1.45 ERA over 74 1/3 innings pitched, Miller has carried the same lights-out performance through the playoffs, permitting three hits and two walks and striking out a staggering total of 17 batters in 7 2/3 frames. No matter where Indians’ manager Terry Francona deployed his right-hander — Miller has covered for the club in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings so far this October — he found a way to work around the opposition.

The reason Cashman is rooting for his ex-relievers to succeed in the playoffs, he told Harper, is because it justifies the high price he demanded for the pair back in July. In his words:

I want the teams that stepped up and made those trades to be rewarded for doing so. […] It would justify the action they took. I have absolutely no regrets about the deals we made — other than being in the position we were in. We did what we had to do, and hopefully everybody wins.

Anthony Volpe, 21, wins Yankees’ starting shortstop job

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TAMPA, Fla. — Anthony Volpe grew up watching Derek Jeter star at shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Now, the 21-year-old is getting the chance to be the Yankees’ opening day shortstop against the San Francisco Giants.

The team announced after a 6-2 win over Toronto in spring training that Volpe had won the spot. New York manager Aaron Boone called the kid into his office to deliver the news.

“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Volpe, rated one of baseball’s best prospects. “Incredible. I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to even put into words.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza were also present.

Volpe was able to share the news with his parents and other family members near the Yankees’ dugout and said it is something he will never forget.

“It was pretty emotional,” Volpe said. “It was just an unbelievable moment to share with them.”

Volpe, who grew up a Yankees fan, lived in Manhattan as a child before moving to New Jersey. Jeter was his favorite player.

“It’s very surreal,” Volpe said. “I’ve only ever been to games at Yankee Stadium and for the most part only watched him play there.”

Volpe is hitting .314 with three homers, five RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 17 Grapefruit League games. He has just 22 games of experience at Triple-A.

Spring training started with Volpe, Oswald Peraza and holdover Isiah Kiner-Falefa competing for the everyday shortstop job. Kiner-Falefa was shifted into a utility role midway through camp, and Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday evening.

“While certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines,” Boone said of Volpe. “All the other things that we’ve been hearing about showed up. There’s an energy he plays the game with, and an instinct that he has that is evident. He really checked every box that we could have had for him. Absolutely kicked the door in and earned his opportunity.”

Volpe arrived in Florida in December to work out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“He’s earned the right to take that spot, and we’re excited for him and excited for us,” Cashman said. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well obviously for him as we move forward.”

Volpe was selected out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft from Delbarton School in New Jersey. He passed up a college commitment to Vanderbilt to sign with the Yankees.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said. “This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I’ve worked my whole life for when I made that big decision.”

“Right now it’s crazy,” he added. “I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun.”