Based on what Brian Cashman and Joe Torre have said since the end of the season, the Yankees plan to carry seven relief pitchers.
Mariano Rivera, Scott Proctor, Mike Myers, Kyle Farnsworth and Luis Vizcaino are locks barring injury. That leaves two spots open.
The major competitors figure to be:
RHP Brian Bruney
RHP Chris Britton
LHP Sean Henn
RHP T.J. Beam
RHP Jose Veras
RHP Jeff Karstens
RHP Darrell Rasner
If Henn looks good in the spring, he could nail down a spot simply by being left-handed. But if he’s not, the Yankees could want a power arm like Bruney, Britton or Beam.
The final spot, I believe, would go to somebody who could give them multiple innings or a spot start, somebody like Karstens or Rasner.
The good news for Torre and Cash is that all of these guys have options and the Yankees can pick and choose. When last season started, contractually they were committed to Sturtze and Small almost regardless of what they did.
That is what Brian Cashman means when he talks about flexibility.