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SportsColumnistsAnthony Rieber

A look ahead to possible Yankees’ free agents

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka delivers

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Yankees will be hoping to extend their season when they host the Indians in Game 3 of the AL Division Series on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.

If they can’t, and are swept out of the playoffs, a number of key members of the organization will be entering an offseason of uncertainty. Here are the top Yankees personnel who could become free agents heading into 2018:

Brian Cashman: Cashman may have had the best year of his 20 as the Yankees’ general manager as he oversaw a “rebuilding” process that brought the Yankees back to the playoffs much sooner than most thought possible. As per team policy, he does not have a contact beyond this year, but there is no indication he will be leaving.

Joe Girardi: Despite Girardi’s missteps in Game 2 of the ALDS and some fans’ calling for his head, the Yankees are expected to bring Girardi back. He has been the manager since 2008.

Masahiro Tanaka: The Game 3 starter can opt out of the final three years and $68 million of the seven-year, $155-million deal he signed with the Yankees. Tanaka, 28, is coming off a down year in which he went 13-12 with a career-high 4.74 ERA. He has given no indication if he plans to opt out and see if he can do better on the open market and the Yankees have given no indication if they will chase after him if he does opt out.

CC Sabathia: The 37-year-old former ace has said many times he doesn’t plan to retire and the Yankees consider him a co-captain along with Brett Gardner in the clubhouse. Look for the sides to agree on a one-year deal for far less than the $25 million Sabathia made in 2017.

Todd Frazier: The third baseman fit in well after he was acquired from the White Sox, but the Yankees still have Chase Headley signed for one more year at $13 million to play third base. Frazier will likely be moving on . . . maybe to the Mets?

Matt Holliday: The Yankees got tremendous production out of Holliday in the first half and very little in the second. He won’t be back.

Michael Pineda: The big righty isn’t expected to pitch until the latter part of 2018 at the earliest after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July. The Yankees could sign him to a make-good contract while he rehabs.

Jaime Garcia: Made little impact after being acquired from the Twins. See ya.

Alex Rodriguez: Yes, A-Rod is retired and yakking on TV now, but his $21 million salary for 2017 still counted as part of the Yankees’ payroll. Not having Rodriguez on the books for 2018 will help the Yankees in their stated goal of getting under the $197 million luxury tax threshold so they can make a run, if they like, at big-name free agents such as Manny Machado and Bryce Harper before the 2019 season.

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