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

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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.

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.

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.

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?

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