Nobody can say for certain who will be in the line up next season. I don’t even think they can answer this one. However it is always fun to speculate on who will be filling each position on the roster. So without further adieu here is your 2012 NY Yankees starting 25
1. CC Sabathia.. Sabathia will certainly opt out of his contract he would be foolish not to, however it will only be for long enough to take his pen out of his pocket and ink a new deal for more money and years.
2. CJ Wilson.. As the best free agent on the market the Yankees will park a big brinks trunk in front of his house and he will anchor this staff.
3.Ivan Nova… After his breakout rookie season look for him to show that he belongs in NY and make a push for 20 wins
4. AJ Burnett.. If right he can be a force unfortunately he is only a force to the tune of about a .5oo record. This may be his last hurrah with only two years left on his ridiculous contract if he sucks again next year hopefully they will just eat the 16 million dollars and chalk it up to a life lesson.
5. Manny Banualos.. I’m not going to go and say that he will be guaranteed a roster spot but I will not be surprised if he wins one out of spring training.
6. Russell Martin… with a solid defensive season and some respectable power at the plate. Martin has really earned his pinstripes in a short time. He has a great report with the pitching staff and just seems to fit.
7. Austin Romaine… I don’t see him being handed a roster spot either but he is fearless and will bring it to spring training and own that back up catchers job.
8.Mark Teixeira… no need for comment he is . a Yankee
9. Robinson Cano… Probably the best second baseman in the game. I don’t think anyone will argue that
10. Derek Jeter… Everyone talks of his decline and that he isn’t the same guy, but name three other short stops in the AL that you would rather have. … That’s what I thought
11. Alex Rodriguez.. When healthy he is still a great player. I look for him to have a bounce back year after being injured most of this season. Full time DH isn’t that many years away.
12. Jesus Montero… I see the Yankees using him as DH and perhaps every once in a while behind the plate. The Yankees aren’t sold on his defense but man the kid can hit.
13. Brett Gardner.. Not the typical Yankee power hitting outfielder but plays great defense and his blinding speed is his weapon in conjunction with a decent OBP that will keep him in the line up
14. Curtis Granderson… MVP type season and still young enough to have a few more.
15. Nick Swisher… had a off season but has proven clutch enough and still plays a good enough defense to stay in the outfield at least one more year.
16. Joba Chamberlain… Is ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. I am predicting him to be a big part of next years bull pen
17. Phil Hughes…I always thought he was better in the pen than in the rotation. I think he will get owned by Banualos in the spring but it doesn’t mean I’m right.
18. Mariano Rivera.. DUH
19. David Robertson… Will Robertson be Rivera’s successor? Hard to say, but in the mean time he is a great eighth inning guy.
20. Jerry Hairston JR… With Arod being less than able to play every day and Jeter needing an occasional day off the Yankees should look for a utility man with a better glove than Nunez. Hairston can play the entire infield and batted .270 with the Nats and the Brewers last year. However they will probably just stick with Nunez.
21. Boone Logan… Had a good enough season to deserve an encore
22. Andrew Jones.. I thought he was pretty clutch as a forth outfielder and had some big hits that helped the Yankees to the playoffs. He also played good defense.
23. Corey Wade… The Yankees best pitching call up of the year deserves another shot
24. Luis Ayala… Performed good enough as the Long man to be given another look. Doesn’t mean that Freddie Garcia might not come back in the spring to compete for it but I think he will end up signing a muti year deal elsewhere.
25. Rafael Soriano.. After a less than stellar season he would be dumb to use his opt out clause considering that he is already making closer money.
So there you have it the 2012 Yankees don’t look that much different from the 2011. except in the rotation and a couple of minor roles. I could be way wrong about Banualos making the Rotation . He is still very young and could use a full season in triple A to season. I could see them going after a number three type guy like Edwin Jackson or Rich Harden, perhaps even Mark Berhle. Time will tell how it will all pan out but in the mean time its fun to speculate.