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Aaron Boone not addressing trade rumors with his Yankees players

Manny Machado of the Orioles takes the field

Manny Machado of the Orioles takes the field before the game against the Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Baltimore. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Taetsch

CLEVELAND — As rumors continue to swirl regarding the Yankees and Manny Machado, Aaron Boone said he feels no need to talk about them with his team.

“It’s that time of year,” Boone said Thursday before the Yankees started a four-game series against the Indians. “You could find yourself addressing rumors all the time. So no, I don’t.”

The Yankees and Orioles continue to have talks about Machado, who will be a free agent after the season, but as of early Thursday evening, indications were nothing was close to happening.

Obviously, the Yankees don’t want to surrender any of their top prospects for what very well could amount to a two-month rental. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt the Orioles to ask for them.

The prevailing sense in the industry is that if the Yankees end up with Machado, it will follow a script similar to the one last December in which Giancarlo Stanton, in essence, fell into their lap.

As has been the case since the winter, the Yankees’ priority remains acquiring starting pitching depth.

Nice narrative but . . .

Stanton’s walk-off homer against the Mariners on June 20 produced the predictable talk of his first “Yankee Moment.” In the next three games, he went 1-for-11, but in the 17 games after that, entering Thursday night, he had a .386/.449/.629 slash line, four homers and 12 RBIs.

Boone wasn’t buying the lazy narrative that suggests that hit sparked Stanton. “No, because I feel like he was building before that,” he said.

The facts back that up. In the seven games before that homer beat the Mariners, Stanton had a .385/.414/.654 slash line with two homers and six RBIs.

Sanchez closing in

Gary Sanchez (right groin strain) went through another full day’s work and Boone said “it’s possible” the catcher will start a rehab assignment as early as Sunday. If there are no setbacks, the plan is for Sanchez to be activated when the Yankees start the second half July 20 against the Mets at the Stadium.

Torres, too

Gleyber Torres (right hip strain) did work on the infield for the first time during his rehab and also did some running on the field. “He’s not feeling anything in there [the hip],” Boone said. “I think he’s moving in a good direction. He’s close to where Gary is.”

International haul

The Yankees announced the signings of 20 international players, including 16-year-old outfielder Kevin Alcantara. The native of Santo Domingo Centro in the Dominican Republic is ranked as the No. 4 international prospect by FanGraphs and as the No. 15 international prospect by Baseball America. Among the group is righthander Rafael Severino, the 19-year-old brother of Luis Severino. The Yankees announced that signing on July 2.

New York Sports