With 11 free agents and 21 players under team control, the 2014 Yankees could look decidedly different from the team that started the 2013 season. The outlook for 2014:
FIVE KEY ISSUES
1. $189 million: The day of reckoning finally arrives for the Yankees to get under that figure to avoid a major luxury-tax penalty. The intriguing question: If the 2013 club sputters to, say, a sub-.500 finish, does Hal Steinbrenner risk further angering the fan base by following through in trimming the payroll? The answer may be surprising.
2. Robinson Cano's free agency: The safe way to bet is that Cano, who switched to Jay Z's firm for representation, stays in the Bronx, but don't be shocked to see protracted, even ugly, negotiations. The Yankees will do everything possible not to be saddled with another long-term, big-money deal.
3. Pitching and more pitching: Phil Hughes likely will leave via free agency, Andy Pettitte might hang it up and Hiroki Kuroda finally could decide to return to Japan to end his career. If all of those occur, that leaves the Yankees, as scouts like to say, "short'' in their rotation with only CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova as definites for 2014.
4. A-Rod: Expect something different? Along with the usual offseason topics -- free agents, trades, etc. -- add the intrigue of what arbitrator Fredric Horowitz decides will be Rodriguez's final suspension number. Which leads us to . . .
5. Third base: Regardless of Horowitz's decision, the Yankees will have to get an everyday third baseman, and it won't be easy. They have no one in their system close to being ready at the position and the marketplace isn't deep with options.
Robinson Cano, 30; Curtis Granderson, 32; Lyle Overbay, 36 Hiroki Kuroda, 38; Andy Pettitte, 41; Travis Hafner, 36; Phil Hughes, 27; Mariano Rivera, 43; Kevin Youkilis, 34; Boone Logan, 28; Joba Chamberlain, 27.
PLAYERS UNDER TEAM CONTROL FOR 2014
Catchers: Chris Stewart, 31, Arb; Francisco Cervelli, 27, Arb; Austin Romine, 24, Pre-arb.
Infielders: Mark Teixeira, 33, $22.5M; Derek Jeter, 39, $8M player option/$3M buyout; Alex Rodriguez, 38, $25M; Jayson Nix, 30, Pre-arb; Eduardo Nuñez, 26, Pre-arb.
Outfielders: Ichiro Suzuki, 39, $6.5M; Brett Gardner, 29, Arb; Alfonso Soriano, 37, $5M; Vernon Wells, 34, $2.4M.
Starting pitchers: CC Sabathia, 32, $23M; David Phelps, 26, Pre-arb; Ivan Nova, 26, Arb; Michael Pineda, 24, Arb.
Relievers: David Robertson, 28, Arb; Shawn Kelley, 29, Arb; Adam Warren, 25, Pre-arb; Preston Claiborne, 25, Pre-arb; Vidal Nuño, 25, Pre-arb.
*Arb -- Player is eligible for salary arbitration if he and team cannot come to terms.
**Pre-arb -- Players with less than three years of major-league service time are defined as pre-arbitration-eligible and their salaries are determined by team.