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The 25-man roster as it is today (take two)

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 23, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Back on November 27, I wrote a blog post about the Yankees 25-man roster as it was at that moment. Only players under contract at the time were eligible, and I started the post by saying, “the Yankees could make a big move at any moment… but Brian Cashman has talked about a conservative offseason approach.”

Cashman has lived up to that expectation. Here’s an updated look at a potential 25-man roster based on players currently under contract. Not much has changed in the past six and a half weeks.

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

Absolutely nothing has changed here. The only minor change is that the Yankees have made it crystal clear that Martin will be back for a second season in pinstripes. It still looks like these might very well be the Yankees starting position players on Opening Day.

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

Back in November, my first comment about the Yankees bench was: This is one spot where the roster is likely to change quite a bit. So far it hasn’t changed at all. The Yankees are interested in re-signing Andruw Jones, and they now know Eric Chavez wants to play again, but they haven’t completed a deal with either. I’d pencil Hiroyuki Nakajima into a roster spot ahead of one of the outfielders had he agreed to a contract by now, but he’s still unsigned.

Rotation
LHP – CC Sabathia
RHP – Ivan Nova
RHP – Phil Hughes
RHP – A.J. Burnett
RHP – Freddy Garcia

Hey look, something’s changed in the past month and a half! By re-signing Garcia, the Yankees might have put their entire 2012 rotation into place. Cashman is still looking for starters, but the elite talent is off the free agent market and the trade market has been too costly for Cashman’s taste. After declaring from the beginning that the rotation would be their offseason priority, is it really possible the Yankees will go into spring training with essentially the exact same rotation as last year?

Bullpen
Closer – Mariano Rivera
Setup – Dave Robertson
Setup – Rafael Soriano
Middle – Cory Wade
Lefty – Boone Logan
Lefty – Cesar Cabral
Long – Brad Meyers

Last time I did this, I cheated by including Joba Chamberlain, who almost certainly will not be ready for Opening Day. This time around, I’ve adjusted to include the two Rule 5 picks (even though it’s hard to imagine both sticking). More likely is that one of the Rule 5 guys makes the team — I’d guess that Cabral has the upper hand as a second left-hander — and the other spot is filled from within the system (someone like George Kontos or D.J. Mitchell winning the long relief job, for example).

Bottom line: This isn’t a bad roster. The bench could use a more proven bat, but otherwise, this team could be pretty good as long as the rotation holds up. It probably seems worse only because it’s so shockingly similar to what it was six weeks ago, or even three months ago.

Associated Press photos

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66 Responses to “The 25-man roster as it is today (take two)”

  1. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    just a guess, but, I think both Whelan and Kontos will go in some sort of deal. I’d take Mitchell and let him pull the Noesi shift.

  2. Hassey December 23rd, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    anyone have any idea what the hold-up is with resigning Eric Chavez?

  3. LGY December 23rd, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Seems like the 25 man roster is missing someone.

    I can’t put my finger on it…

  4. LGY December 23rd, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Oh yeah.

  5. LGY December 23rd, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    KURODA!

  6. kd December 23rd, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    from the last thread gb, you’re right. it’s a personal choice to stay in shape. but the yankees do have that kind of money.

    it would be an enormous competitive advantage to hold a month long fitness camp in the winter.

    just let a guy like sanchez or murphy watch alex and jeet get their work in and let them soak in the info.

    it’s a long shot, but it’s well worth yankee money

  7. Hassey December 23rd, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    For fitness, I think they should just switch to cotton uni’s

  8. Shame Spencer December 23rd, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    In theory its a good idea, but I dunno that multi-millionaire vets like Jeter, Arod, or Tex would be all that interested in having another month of obligations to tend to.

  9. Shame Spencer December 23rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Then again, thats what separated guys like Jeter from his contemporaries even (or especially?) when he was young: He always put the work in.

    If you need to have a preemptive fat camp in place for the youngin’s to stop them from being out of shape I think we just need new youngin’s lol.

  10. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    GB….Your bird just flew over my house….I received a nice thank you card from our armed force folks who received their Christmas gifts…….Very nice and I feel quite good about this weekend now…….As for Kuroda, after what happened in Japan last March some guys don’t want to be a continent away from their families……This I can understand, however I hear that The Yanks are waiting on him to make a decision……..It was believed that they made a 2 year offer with the second year a player option…Clearly they want him to follow CC in the rotation and to beef up the staff……We’ll see……

  11. blake December 23rd, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Merry Christmas Pat M….LGY will be most pleased with that tid bit.

  12. Shame Spencer December 23rd, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I was just about to say, Pat M. is playing Santa for LGY this year.

  13. austinmac December 23rd, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    The outfield depth is ugly. Jones had a lot of timely hits last year. Maxwell is a strike out machine. Is two or three million going to keep Jones off the team?

  14. jacksquat December 23rd, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    If they do sign Kuroda, it will be interesting to see who leaves the rotation. Based on merit I guess it would have to come down to AJ and Hughes (not that I don’t like Hughes so don’t jump me).

  15. 108 stitches December 23rd, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Nice roster except for inserting Noesi as the No. 4 starter. The Yankees won’t be able to ignore him. He’ll pitch his way on the team.

  16. blake December 23rd, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I’d personally rather risk the 5-7 million per year it’ll take to sign Cespedes than spend the 2-4 million it’ll take to bring back Jones.

    I know the length of the deal would be much longer on the former….and I also know that he’s a complete unknown and it may be a total waste of money…..but with the total lack of impact outfielders both ready in the farm system and available on the market I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer just to see. It’s a lot of money….but it’s not so much that the Yanks couldn’t work around it if it didn’t work out and the potential reward could be a huge bargain. JMO

  17. blake December 23rd, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t think they’ll sign Kuroda unless they have a pretty good idea that they can move AJ and offset Kuroda’s salary a bit.

  18. austinmac December 23rd, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I agree with you Blake. Carig has pretty much killed that hope for me. He was right about Yu and seems confident about Cespedes not happening.

  19. Giuseppe Franco December 23rd, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I wouldn’t be against signing Cespedes but I have a hard time advocating the team sign someone for big money that I’ve never seen play.

    The publicity video(s) are just that – publicity. They are designed to make him look good.

    But big money or not, I think it would be insane to give him a starting job until he proves he can not only play at the major league level but also produce better than what they already have.

    A lot of what ifs that makes it unlikely they will take the gamble.

  20. blake December 23rd, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Yea there is no way I’d give Cespedes an opening day job in the big leagues…..it’s too big of a jump from where he’s been playing. I’d probably start him in A ball and then move him up the ladder as quickly as he seemed to adapt. I admit he’d be a project…..and I admit that he may not amount to anything….but if their scouts think there is a decent possibility that he can make the transition with the bat then they should take this sort of risk IMO.

  21. MTU December 23rd, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Blake-

    Isn’t Soler good enough to start at the A ball level ?

    If so, why not get him ?

    He’s younger and way cheaper.

    And that means the Yankees might be so inclined.

    ;)

  22. austinmac December 23rd, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Call me spoiled, if you wish, but I have seen good and bad Yankee teams over the years. Good is much more fun. To see Chad’s bottom line-”this isn’t a bad roster” isn’t what I hope to see. They should fill in the glaring holes and have a good roster. They have the wherewithal to do that.

    I don’t know if this is the team come April. I hope some version of the patiently planned process will try to make this year’s team better than last’s. Isn’t that the goal of a team’s off season?

  23. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm
    GB….Your bird just flew over my house….I received a nice thank you card from our armed force folks who received their Christmas gifts…….Very nice and I feel quite good about this weekend now…….As for Kuroda, after what happened in Japan last March some guys don’t want to be a continent away from their families……This I can understand, however I hear that The Yanks are waiting on him to make a decision……..It was believed that they made a 2 year offer with the second year a player option…Clearly they want him to follow CC in the rotation and to beef up the staff……We’ll see……

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    I thought I had trained that bird better. It was equiped with a GPS.

    That’s great about your your note, and I thank you very much for your great generosity to a stranger. That’s a great gift to me, too. Military is always family to me.

    I have nothing against Kuroda, I just don’t see that NYYs really need him. It’s time to take the training wheels off of some of the rolling stock down on the farm. I won’t be upset if they sign him, but, I’d prefer they kids get the next cracks in line. There’s plenty of talent on the big team to help them get through the rogh spots…if they have them. Has nothing to do with money or payroll. Just my take on it.

  24. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Mac, there are no glaring holes on that roster. Are some spots a little inexperienced? Sure, but they got to start breaking the farm kids in, whether it’s on the bench, in the bullpen or where ever.

  25. MTU December 23rd, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Mac-

    The addition of Montero and the subtraction of Posada has already made it better.

    Now if Noesi could just replace AJ.

    ;)

  26. RhapsodyInBlue December 23rd, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I’m with you on the kids GB.

    We’ve been waiting for them, the big pyramid is ready to tip over.

    Let’s get it on in 2012.

  27. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I’d sign both Soler and Cespedes. Start Soler in Tampa and Cespedes in Trenton, give them about three-four weeks and see how they do before moving them up.

  28. RhapsodyInBlue December 23rd, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    As far as the kids go I think there’s going to be flops but also some surprises, the numbers are in our favor.

    But we have to give them a shot.

  29. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    GB….The Kuroda thing might be a question of too many ifs for the front office people……I know that I’m in the minority on this but I have reservations about Freddy Garcia for some reason…..I do feel that Hughes will climb to the next level and that AJ Burnett might tighten the wheels to his cart so they don’t fall off as quickly as they did last season……I know you are high on Noesi and he has looked very good for the most part, but the question remains this, how many innings can he provide ??? And then there’s the Nova factor, and although his innings should not be a real concern from last season but they could and then there’s the forearm which really shouldn’t be a concern but it could…….I like the club but Kuroda provides some stability

  30. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    GB….I’m all for the Cuban outfielders even more than for the Kuroda signing if it was one or the other……..The workouts have impressed every club that has watched them…..Forget the promotional video, it did what it was intended to do…It’s the live stuff that has been eye opening

  31. blake December 23rd, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    MTU,

    Get them both…..heck even GB thinks they should sign them both!

  32. theREALkevin December 23rd, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    “anyone have any idea what the hold-up is with resigning Eric Chavez?”

    um, the fact that he sucks maybe?

  33. MTU December 23rd, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Blake-

    Cespedes is going to command a commitment of 30 Mil or more is what they say.

    Don’t see the Yankees doing that with the limited info. they have on him.

    Soler definitely makes sense IMO.

  34. DONNYBROOK December 23rd, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    That starting rotation really jumps out at you after CC. Ya got both extreme youth and age. If it isn’t that it’s conditioning\weight, and if it isn’t any of those you got Nurse Ratchet’s favorite\AJ. $200 Mill payroll and your hopeing 1 guy loses weight, and the other guy does not lose his mind. Offense better carry the day in 2012.

    Just where is Girardi gonna bat Montero the Magnificent to Start the season, and where does Montero ultimately end up for seasons to come?

  35. hardwired7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Things to look forward to w/the 2012 Yanks: the impact of Montero’s bat @DH, moving Robbie up to the 3rd spot and a hopeful return-to-form for Hughes.

    It’s an enviable position they were in when this off-season began – just keep CC. Once they accomplished that, it was time for them to just sit back and wait for something to fall into their laps. I can’t blame them for not falling into the overpay trap so far this off-season.

    Top to bottom, it’s a pretty damn solid team. The rotation may not be at the Rays’ level, but 1-25 they match up w/any team in baseball.

  36. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Not really concerned Nova’s arm, but, if there’s an issue, noesi would be ready to slip in to the #5 slot. I probably have the same concerns about Kuroda that you have with Garcia. Makes it a wash. I posted an interview with Hughes this morning about his sessions at API. No excuses, just what he’s doing. Cashman and company may have errored in handling Hughes last year the same way they they mishandled Wang. Should have started the season on DL. Then they could have knocked off those 3 games from his record that he shouldn’t have been in in the first place.

  37. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    theREALkevin December 23rd, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    “anyone have any idea what the hold-up is with resigning Eric Chavez?”

    um, the fact that he sucks maybe?

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    He sucks a lot less than your opinions do.

  38. tomingeorgia December 23rd, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    hardwired7,
    The nail on the head. All these years we’ve been told our prospect pitchers are the real thing. Now is the time to find out what we have. Thus, “no” to Oswalt on any terms, Kuroda maybe, let the kids pitch.

  39. DONNYBROOK December 23rd, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    After coming back from that foot injury, Chavez looked horrible at the plate. I pass on Chavez and look for Naka to fill that bench role. Who knows? Maybe Naka can do a little OF duty to spell guys there also? Jones is all bat, (occasionally), and no glove. Pass there too.

  40. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    He looked terrible because he was out for three months. How bad did he look befor that? 3 month layoff and sporatic playing time tends to make players a tad rusty….much as it did with Rodriguez.

  41. DONNYBROOK December 23rd, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I give ya that 1st 3 months. Chavez was swinging a hot stick when called on then. Basically, we got A Tale of 2 Cities. I’m playin’ it safe and lookin’ at the final destination. Pass on Chavez and see what we got in Naka.

  42. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    jnorris427 Josh Norris
    Nice stat from @swbyankeesTT yesterday. Over the last 5 years, 39 of the 50 Top 10 #Yankees prospects in BA’s handbooks have been pitchers.

    jnorris427 Josh Norris
    I goofed. 39 of 50 have been pitchers OR CATCHERS. This is what happens when you do two things at once.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    There’s gold on them thar farms. Gold at the grass roots….ready to be plucked or cashed in for other goods.

  43. 108 stitches December 23rd, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I can’t figure out why no team has taken a flyer on RHP Luis Ayala. I realize there no room in the bullpen for him but he did a serviceable job for most of his time with the Yankees in 2011.
    Sign him to a minor league deal with an invitation to ST and keep him at AAA as emergency.

  44. lounge lizard December 23rd, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Cashman won’t go for Cespedes. He belongs in centerfield or left field in Yankee Stadium. Putting him in RF would be like putting Crawford in Fenway left field: a waste of ability and of the premium dollars paid for the ability.

    Compared to the combined cost of Gardner and Jones (probably $6 million for 2012), Cespedes wouldn’t actually be that much more expensive to cover left field and would have more upside. But Cashman won’t recommend it to ownership no matter what the scouts say.

  45. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    The ngels and a couple of west coast teams are talking to him.

  46. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    ***Angels***

  47. 4 NYY December 23rd, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Would like to see Romine have a good ST and replace Cervelli.

    Future : Get Soler energy !

    No CesPEDes !

  48. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    ***talking to Ayala*** that is

  49. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Lounge Lizard……Think 5-6 years with Cespedes in the outfield as a long term solution and if the workout reports are true about him then he’s a very non expensive outfielder…..You get him for his prime years…..Bombers lack any internal outfield answers for at least 2 most likely 3 years…..

  50. 4 NYY December 23rd, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Although Chavez is good in the field, he has little power left and most likely will break down.

  51. comet December 23rd, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Merry Christmas or seasons Greetings, as applicable, to Pat M, GB, LGY, IR m and MTU. Also to Doreen, Erica, Angel, SAS, Fran, SJ44 and the others who left because of the nut.

    Comet

  52. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Well if you guys don’t like Eric Chavez, then what do you suggest to play sterling defense at the corners and hit from the left side ????

  53. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Pat M, I think NYYs could sign both outfielders for what Texas paid to talk to Darvis.

  54. MTU December 23rd, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Comet-

    Happy Holidays.

    :)

  55. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Merry Christmas, Comet.

    Please say Hi to Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolf
    for me.

    Hope you and Mrs Cmet have a great holiday and best wishes to you.

  56. MTU December 23rd, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Pat M.-

    Are you hearing anything that indicates the Yankees are in on Cespedes ?

    Personally, I do not think they are going there.

    I would not mind if they did.

  57. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    MTU…….Nothing really about the Yanks being connected to him or his island compadre, only that Cespedes have been very impressive during his workouts for clubs…..As I mentioned yesterday, it seems that The Yanks are trying to get Kuroda but he’s not certain that he wants to be an additional 3,000 miles from home……….Comet, GB stole my reindeer comment but Merry Christmas to you as well….I’ll pass your sentiments to SJ when I talk to him later…..I do miss the old gang of course……

  58. MTU December 23rd, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you Pat.

  59. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Pat M., you might want to be careful about spreading the word that you think like me.

  60. Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    GB….You might have voted for FDR all four times, and your ancient, but you’re still quick in the mind…….

  61. austinmac December 23rd, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    GB,

    I disagree about the lack of holes. Maxwell strikes out far, far too much in the minors. He will not hit IMO. The infield needs a second player. Nakajima would be fine or Chavez. I prefer Nakajima as I like his swing.

    I will not repeat the concerns of a lack of another reliable starter. It feels like a lot of hope a number of potters will improve. Could happen, but it’s a risk.

  62. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    There is divide in both the Yankees’ and Marlins’ front offices on whether to pursue Yoenis Cespedes, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Knobler says the two clubs, along with the Red Sox, may not be as heavily involved in the bidding for the Cuban outfielder as expected.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/…..pedes.html

  63. austinmac December 23rd, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Pitchers not potters.

  64. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Pat M. December 23rd, 2011 at 5:58 pm
    GB….You might have voted for FDR all four times, and your ancient, but you’re still quick in the mind…….

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    Pat,

    Just like Randy, I have my better days, but, they’re getting further apart.

  65. GreenBeret7 December 23rd, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Mac, i haven’t seen Nakajima, yet. so I can;t say nuch about him. Just know that most Japanese pitchers, most Japanese hitters haven’t had much success in the States….Matsui, suzuki and Iguchi being the exceptions.

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