With all of the Derek Jeter hoopla, it has been hard for the Yankees to look ahead to 2015.
But the hoopla is over. And the offseason has begun.
First, the organization has to decide whether to bring back general manager Brian Cashman, whose contract expires Oct. 31. Cashman said Saturday there have been no talks, but it would be a shock if the Yankees lifer doesn't return.
One of Cashman's major trades in the last few years was the acquisition of Michael Pineda from Seattle. The big righthander with the crooked hat showed again Sunday why he was such a sought-after talent.
Pineda threw 61/3 innings and was charged with one run and three hits with 10 strikeouts as the Yankees ended the season and the Jeter Era at 84-78 with a 9-5 win over the Red Sox.
Pineda, who missed his first two Yankees seasons after shoulder surgery, finished 2014 with a 5-5 record and 1.89 ERA in 13 starts.
Pineda has the stuff to be an ace, but durability and reliability are question marks. He was suspended for 10 games in April for using pine tar and missed about three months with a shoulder-muscle injury.
"He throws 95-mile per hour cutters," CC Sabathia said. "I think he can go ahead and take the next step and be a guy that can throw 200-plus innings for us next year."
The Yankees have many other health-related question marks, including Sabathia, who said he is progressing from knee surgery and expects to begin throwing off a mound by mid-October.
"I feel great," Sabathia said. "As fast as I ran out to Jeter , that was the first time I actually didn't think about it. I reacted and ran."
Yankees free agents include Hiroki Kuroda (who might retire) and Brandon McCarthy (who said he would like to return). The free-agent market will be flush with expensive aces such as Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields.
Yankees closer David Robertson is also an impending free agent. Asked if the Yankees were his first choice, Robertson said: "I'm not going to discuss that."
Chase Headley, Stephen Drew and Ichiro Suzuki are all free agents. Suzuki scoffed at the idea he might be nearing retirement at age 40.
Headley would be nice corner insurance for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, but might be able to get more playing time elsewhere.
"I want to be a guy that plays," Headley said. "That's what I've done my whole career. Obviously, I think third base is the strongest position, but I don't want to be a part-time guy."
Headley has said he didn't think he was going to like New York after spending his whole career in San Diego. He didn't like it -- he loved it.
"The organization is first class, second to none," he said. "I've loved every second of being here and obviously the cherry on top was getting to play with Jete in his final couple months."
And how to replace the irreplaceable Jeter? Drew, who hit .162 for the Red Sox and Yankees, may have played himself out of consideration. The market will be full of shortstops. If not Drew, the Yankees could target J.J. Hardy, Hanley Ramirez or Asdrubal Cabrera.
Then there's A-Rod, 39, expected to return from his suspension. He has already talked with Cashman about his offseason workouts while nixing the idea of playing winter ball.