As a comparison to the previous post, here’s an attempt at a 25-man roster based on players still under contract for next season. I’m leaving Alex Rodriguez out — didn’t list him as a leaving player either — only because his status is so very uncertain. This list includes players who are arbitration eligible. The Yankees could choose to non-tender some of these guys, but at the very least, for the time being, they have the option of keeping them for next season.
It’s worth asking, which roster would you rather have: the one made of players leaving the Yankees or the one made of players sticking around?
Assuming you believe in Jeter’s ability to come back and perform as a reasonably high level, this lineup starts out fairly strong, but the losses of Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and (potentially) Rodriguez really impact the lineup’s depth. Banking on Cervelli to repeat his strong April seems pretty risky, and Zoilo Almonte might honestly be a better right field option than Ichiro at this point.
Austin Romine C
David Adams INF
Zoilo Almonte OF
Adonis Garcia/Ronnier Mustelier/Corban Joseph OF/INF
Given the options, Adams and Almonte are pretty much locks for bench roles at the moment. It’s either Romine or Chris Stewart — or maybe J.R. Murphy for the backup catcher job — and the final spot on the bench could go to any one of several minor leaguers. To be fair, not many teams are going to have a strong 2014 bench at this point.
Based on what’s under contract, the Yankees badly need to finally get some sort of Major League production out of Pineda next season. If they do — and if Phelps returns to form — that’s not a horrible top four (all things considered). At this point, the fifth spot seems to be more or less a toss up between Warren, David Huff and Vidal Nuno (and possibly Manny Banuelos or Jose Ramirez, I suppose). For now, I’ll give Warren the spot, but I’m honestly not sure any one of those guys has a leg up at this point.
A lot of risk-reward here, but I suppose that’s to be expected when a bullpen is in such an obvious state of transition. Kelley seems to have been a nice find, and both Cabral and Betances have big arms with very little experience. There are others who could pitch their way into the mix — Chase Whitley and Mark Montgomery jump to mind — but that’s more of the same risk-reward situation. Bullpens are always a little unreliable from year to year, but the Yankees seem to be a fairly extreme example.
Associated Press photos