images The World Series is over, The Parade is all cleaned up and everyone has gone back to their normal every day lives. The Yankees are the World Champions , some of them will go home to spend some time with their families before beginning preparation for next year, some will play in one or more of the various off season winter or fall leagues. You and I get to play a part in the best thing of all, Roster Speculation. To me trying to anticipate what Brian Cashman and the powers that be will do with the roster is the best thing about the off season.

Last year was particularly exciting because the Yankees had a lot of holes in the roster and their mission was to build a World Champion. Mission accomplished! Now the mission becomes to keep that World Champion title here in NY.So what we are going to do is break down the roster and speculate on who should stay and who should go. We will also look at what the Yankees needs are and who might be available to fill those needs. Lets start with a position by position breakdown.

Catcher:

Jorge Posada:  Posada is still under contract so will be returning next season. Their has been concern that Posada due to his age wouldn’t be able to catch as many games as in previous years. He proved he can still carry most of the load playing in 111 games and hitting a respectable .285 with 22 HR and 81 RBI.

As for Posadas back-up this is a little interesting. Jose Molina is still a great defensive catcher but has no pop in his bat. On the other side of the coin , Fransico Cervelli  proved that he can hit big league pitching  when Molina became injured in 2009.He is decent behind the plate with a strong enough arm and he fits into the Yankees plan of going younger and faster.  This being said I believe that the back-up catcher is a defensive position and Molina is the best their is in this department. Not to mention the relationship that he has developed with AJ Burnett as his personal catcher.  I believe the Yankees will offer him a deal in the neighborhood of 2 years 5 million dollars. Cervelli is only 23 he will get his shot.

First Base:

Nothing to talk about here Mark Teixeira will be around for many years to come.

Second Base:

Robinson Cano is also under contract and after having a rough 2008. 2009 was a career year for him. He batted .320 with 25 HR and 85 RBI’s  I would say his job is safe.

Short Stop:

Derek Jeter is the Yankees and he will be a Yankee until he doesn’t want to be a Yankee anymore. Many have wondered how long he will be able to physically play short stop the answer is as long as he wants to. He is ageless and shows no sign of decline.

Third Base:

Another no brainer in that A-Rod will be holding down the hot corner for many more years.

now the outfield is where it starts to get interesting

Left Field:

Johnny Damon does not fit the profile as getting younger and he does not have a very good arm. But he is a great Yankee, he just fits with everything this ball club is about. I think there is interest on both sides for Damon to return. In order for this to happen Damon would have to be willing to except quite a large pay cut. I see Damon coming back on a one year deal  of around 7 million + performance incentives that could bring it up to around 9 .With a second year 6 million dollar option or a 500K buyout. I think he would be primarily the DH and this would mean the Yankees would say goodbye to Hideki Matsui who has bad knees and can’t run but will certainly get a contract somewhere. My best guess is Seattle, they have a couple of other Japanese players already and it seems like the place that over the hill outfielders go to die.

Center field:

The tandem of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner was mediocre at best. The Yankees have Austin Jackson waiting in the wings and if ready will probably mean the end of Melky Cabrera as a Yankee . Cabrera would certainly be worth something in trade. Brett Gardner has proven to be a great 4th outfielder that is adequate as an everyday player but even better as a pinch runner or defensive replacement, he stays.

Right Field:

I think we have all figured out by now that the odds of Xavier Nady coming back is slim and  Nick Swisher did a good job as his replacement and makes an adequate back up first baseman. Not to mention the fact that he is still under the Yankees control for another season. I predict that Swisher will be playing RF again next season however I don’t necessarily agree with it.

That is how I see the position players filling out from the current rosters. Tomorrow will will look at  the pitchers, the bench and who the Yankees might be looking to add.  Oh and don’t forget to follow us on twitter at Yankeemagzine

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