Competition is what brings the best out of people, it makes us try harder and give our best showing. Every year spring training becomes that time in Yankee land and this year is no different.If anything there are even more positions that are for grab than usual. In this post im just going to touch on the positions up for grabs and the players that will be competing for those spots. In the upcoming weeks we will watch how these players are doing in their effort to be on the opening day roster.

Catcher: The starting Catching position is said to belong to Russell Martin. However I suppose there is always the possibility that someone could be unbelievable in the spring and steal that away. This being said the more interesting competition is for the back-up position. Fransisco Cervelli seems to be the favorite but certainly Jesus Montero and Austine Romaine are coming to camp intending to walk away with the job as well as spring training invite Gustavo Molina. At this point I would say that Cervelli is the favorite because Montero would be best served by starting every day in Scranton. But this could change if an injury should occur or Posada is inneffective at the DH position. Even though Montero’s defence is not finally polished at this point, nobody will argue that the boy can hit. Having last years starting catcher as your primary DH will also give the Yankees some depth at catcher if needed.

Utility Infielder: The Yankees have picked up a couple of candidates for this one on minor league deals in Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard. But Ramerio Pena and Edwardo Nunez have both seen time with the club already and are certainly among the favorites for the job. Also in camp is Doug Bernier who is a great defensive utility infielder but probably lacks the bat to really make a dent. Also in the mix will be Kevin Russo who is a fine young athlete trying to prove himself. The easiest pick is Pena, The Yankees know him and are comfortable with him. However I think that Nunez is the better player and would be best served by playing everyday at Scranton because in a couple of years I see him as the only Internal candidate that is close to being able to fill Jeter’s shoes should he continue to decline. (But don’t count on that . I look for a big year from Jeter in 2011).

Rotation:  The other big competition is for the number four and five spots in the rotation. This is probably the biggest impact contest of the spring. The pitchers that fill these spots could make or break the Bombers season. We will certainly be breaking these pitchers down one by one but for now here is the list in no particular order.  Ivan Nova, Andrew Brackman, Sergio Mitre, Bartolo Colon,Freddie Garcia,David Phelps, Hector Noesci, Adam Warren, and even DJ Mitchell could be possible.  Yes its a long list and a good mix of young and old experienced and green. One would think out of all these candidates that the Yankees should be able to piece together a rotation that will be competitive in the AL East. It’s obvious that the Yankees have this on the top of the agenda and I am still not completely convinced that they arent going to make a last minute trade that will fix it all.

Forth Outfielder: This competition hasn’t seen as much publicity as the others but it seems that Andruw Jones will be the front runner for the Job.  Other than Jones the Yankees have recently traded for Justin Maxwell from Arizona and nobody can forget Greg Golson and his great speed and defence. There is also Colin Curtis and Melky Messa. Besides Jones all of these guys are already on the 40 man roster by the way. There will be other long shot spring training invitees and even Eric Chavez has played a little left field. I would say out of this bunch you should get a fourth and fifth outfielder one who is primarily a hitter and one who is primarily a defender. My best guess is Jones and Golson. However I think that Maxwell will get a long look.

Just a few more days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring training and we can take that very important first step towards figuring this mess out. Dont forget to look for our community page on Facebook at Yankees Online Magazine and to follow us on twitter at Yankees magazine. We are going to be starting a reader mailbag where once a week I will take one of your comments and questions and answer and discuss it. So mail them to mdrook6206@hotmail.com.  Love us hate us doesnt matter, just mail us and you may have a chance to win a semi fabulous prize. Good luck and GO YANKEES!!!!

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