Handicapping Yankees' most heated position battles entering spring training

Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game One
Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game One / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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The New York Yankees' roster is mostly settled entering Spring Training 2023, save for one gaping hole and a little bit of awkwardness around the edges.

Whether you believe this team is "running back" an unsuccessful product or whether you choose the optimist's view that a full year of Harrison Bader and Oswald Peraza is a hell of a lot better than Joey Gallo/Isiah Kiner-Falefa, most have settled on this being a championship pitching staff with a lineup that could use an additional bat or two.

It's also a fairly full roster. All that's left to do is sort out the overflowing infield (though Josh Donaldson will probably get more reps than most fans are comfortable with...), as well as solidify a few important roles during the month of March.

Oh, right, and everyone agrees the October left fielder isn't currently slated to start on Opening Day. That's fun. Let's do our best to suss out a few position battles -- featuring the players who are here -- and we'll update the progress as the month drags on.

Yankees Position Battles That Will Be Settled in Spring Training 2023

Yankees Fifth Starter Battle: Clarke Schmidt vs. Domingo Germán

Edge: Germán

This one's relatively straightforward. Before the season, both Germán and Schmidt were viewed as depth starters behind Frankie Montas, the two remaining members of the Yankees' thinned-out upper-level depth group. Goodbye, Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski and JP Sears. Hello ... Matt Krook and Jhony Brito, I guess?

Before spring action begins, prevailing wisdom dictates that Germán is a more experienced starter with less of a relief track record, and Schmidt, outside of a few stumbles, was a pretty good high-leverage reliever last season, especially during extra innings. Unless Schmidt shines and Germán stumbles, the vet probably gets the edge -- and maybe the spring outings don't matter whatsoever.