The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The 25-man roster as it is today

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 07, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The free agent market is wide open. Players not under contract are free to sign with any team, and the Yankees could make a big move at any moment… but Brian Cashman has talked about a conservative offseason approach.  The Yankees have taken care of their greatest offseason priority, and now they are free to go into this winter without an overwhelming need. Based on the players currently under contract, here’s a look at the potential 25-man roster as it is today.

Starters
C – Russell Martin
1B – Mark Teixeira
2B – Robinson Cano
3B – Alex Rodriguez
SS – Derek Jeter
LF – Brett Gardner
CF – Curtis Granderson
RF – Nick Swisher
DH – Jesus Montero

It’s November 7th, and there’s a very real chance that we already know the Yankees starters for Opening Day. Obviously Montero will have to earn it, and the Yankees will have to settle on contracts with Martin and Gardner — both are eligible for arbitration — but this might actually be the group that fills the lineup out of spring training.

Bench
C –
Francisco Cervelli
INF – Eduardo Nunez
OF – Justin Maxwell
OF – Chris Dickerson

This is one spot where the roster is likely to change quite a bit. Nunez is a natural fit as the utility infielder, and Cervelli could very easily reprise his role as the backup catcher, but two key spots on the bench seem to be up for grabs. The Yankees could obviously use a right-handed outfielder — for now I have Maxwell filling that role, coming back from an injury but coming off a solid showing in Triple-A — but the Yankees could very easily go after Andruw Jones or someone similar. The last spot on the bench could go to another Eric Chavez-type who can fill in at the infield corners, but Nunez could fill that hole, and right now Dickerson is the most proven option off the bench. He’d be a stronger choice if the Yankees outfield weren’t so left-handed already.

Rotation
LHP – CC Sabathia
RHP – Ivan Nova
RHP – Phil Hughes
RHP – A.J. Burnett
RHP – Hector Noesi

Four of the five starters might already be in place, and if the Yankees are not able to land a veteran fifth starter, Noesi could be in position to round out the rotation. This is far from a perfect rotation, but it might be already better than some teams. Basically, after Sabathia, the Yankees have a group of in-house starters who who could crumble but have plenty of potential. What they want is a proven presence to add to the mix (or maybe another high-end young guy like Yu Darvish).

Bullpen
Closer – Mariano Rivera
Setup – Dave Robertson
Setup – Rafael Soriano
Lefty – Boone Logan
Middle – Cory Wade
Middle – Joba Chamberlain
Long – George Kontos

Except for the last two spots, the Yankees bullpen seems to be in place. It’s kind of cheap to put Chamberlain in place right now — he probably won’t be ready until a few weeks past Opening Day — and the Yankees might have to fill his spot with an in-house option like Kevin Whelan or with a free agent addition (maybe a lefty or a Luis Ayala-type). I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to put Kontos in the long relief spot. Not saying the job is his — far from it — but as long as Noesi works as a starter, Kontos has as much claim to that job as anyone.

Associated Press photos

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