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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Yankees Closer Battle: Clay Holmes vs. Michael King vs. The Field

Edge: Holmes to Start

Again, why not settle back into what's comfortable? The Yankees don't have a "designated closer" this season like they have in years past, but last year ... that guy was Aroldis Chapman! Anybody feel better with him than without him? Exactly.

Before Holmes' season went off the rails and his back began to lock up, he was untouchable in the closer's role (yes, Boston, before "Alex Verdugo broke him," we heard you). Michael King, meanwhile, was a legendary eraser of multiple innings, sometimes spanning the seventh and eighth in a flash.

If he's at full strength, odds are he'll close some games throughout the year. So will Wandy Peralta. So will Lou Trivino and Jonathan Loaisiga! But why mess with success? Don't use King as an Opener. Don't make him the auto-closer. Use him against the heart of the order wherever it shows up. Holmes is the "closer," but there are plenty of arms talented enough to take over the ninth here.

Bold prediction? If someone does get the permanent designation midway through the season, it'll be because Loaisiga broke out and held it down.