The Winter Meetings are in full swing, but we are starting to gain an understanding of where pieces are fitting in the Yankees lineup. The Yankees have added Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Kelly Johnson in the last few weeks, and all figure to be starters. While we are not sure who will be playing third base, or second if Johnson shifts over, we can make a pretty strong estimation of how the everyday lineup is going to look. One thing is certain, this lineup looks a lot better than last year’s.
- Jacoby Ellsbury CF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Carlos Beltran RF
- Mark Teixeira 1B
- Brian McCann C
- Alfonso Soriano DH
- 3B to be named later
- Kelly Johnson 2B
- Brett Gardner LF
The day after we signed Ellsbury, I had him hitting third in the lineup, with Gardner leading off. While I still think Jacoby could make a great 3-hole hitter, but the addition of Beltran moves both Ellsbury and Gardner into other spots in the order they are used to. Of course, this lineup depends on what the Yankees to do plug third base. If Alex Rodriguez wins his appeal and can play next season, he may actually slide into the 7-hole quite well.
Some of the largest areas of potential change are with the outfielders and at second base. If the roster does not change for the rest of the off-season, the Yankees have Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells coming off the bench. While relatively team-friendly deals, moving one of them for pitching is a better option than keeping both. The Yankees have been receiving a lot of interest on Gardner, but a team would need to make a very luxurious offer to land him. Not only is Gardner’s contract very team-friendly, but this is a lineup that will suit Gardner more the lineups in recent years. Assuming Gardner stays with the Yankees this season, he will be a strong contributor in the lineup.
Designated hitter is historically a spot the Yankees use to give players a rest more than a position for one player. However, Soriano could turn into the regular everyday DH in 2014, jumping into the outfield whenever a player needs time to rest. While Soriano had a great second half last year, he will settle somewhere in between last year’s production from Chicago and New York.
There are still questions as to where all the Yankees will fit in 2014. We should hear about Alex Rodriguez’s appeal in the coming weeks, and the 3B market will clear up as well. When the Yankees have confirmed starters and a confirmed third baseman, we will revisit this lineup.