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Guessing the Yankees roster: Take 1

Catcher Brian McCann puts on his Yankees jersey

Catcher Brian McCann puts on his Yankees jersey during his introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium. (Dec. 5, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

So it's not even 2014 yet -- so what? It's never too early to start guessing what the Yankees roster will look like (and don't worry Mets fans, we'll start predicting the Flushing group in a few days). Here's our projections at OBP based on the current 40-man roster and reported signings:

Starting lineup

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Brett Gardner, LF
3. Carlos Beltran, RF
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Alfonso Soriano, DH
7. Derek Jeter, SS
8. Kelly Johnson, 3B
9. Brian Roberts, 2B

Assuming Alex Rodriguez's 211-game ban is upheld, this is the likely lineup, though perhaps not the eventual order. You'll note that we at OBP (and several other analysts) have dropped Jeter down in the order. Though that is a far easier task on paper than in real life.

Bench

1. Francisco Cervelli, C
2. Brendan Ryan, SS
3. Vernon Wells, OF
4. Ichiro Suzuki, OF
5. Eduardo Nunez, INF

The complexion of the final three spots could change a lot. Either Wells or Suzuki is likely to be traded, Nunez, after a poor showing last year (again), is no lock, and we fully expect the Yankees to add at least one more infielder to the second/third base mix.

Rotation

1. CC Sabathia, LHP
2. Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
3. Ivan Nova, RHP
4. David Phelps, RHP
5. Michael Pineda, RHP

The Yankees want Japan starter Masahiro Tanaka, but so does about every other team in baseball, and the new posting rules makes their pursuit of him that much more difficult. The front three are pretty locked in, but we expect Brian Cashman to add another starter -- Tanaka or otherwise -- to this group.

Bullpen

1. David Robertson, CL
2. Shawn Kelley, RHP
3. Matt Thornton, LHP
4. Preston Claiborne, RHP
5. Adam Warren, RHP
6. Vidal Nuno, LHP

The Yankees have traditionally gone with seven-man bullpens. But could the presence of long relief-types like Warren and Nuno -- and the infield uncertainty -- cause the team to consider a shorter pen and more robust bench? Either way, a veteran reliever with some closer experience is expected by most to be added to this group to push Robertson.

What say you, Yankees fans? Are you comfortable going to war with this group? Or does Brian Cashman have some serious work to do? Tell us in the comments sections.

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