While several spots in their 2017 lineup are still to be determined, there is a strong possibility that the New York Yankees are done adding reinforcements to next year’s offense following Sunday’s signing of Matt Holliday to a one-year $13 million deal.
With many of the other starters returning from 2016, the only two spots that remain up for grabs at the moment are first base and right field, which will be settled by a competition in spring training.
There is little mystery about who the team’s decision makers hope will emerge as the winners of those position battles. Early in the offseason, general manager Brian Cashman admitted the front office would much prefer Greg Bird beat out Tyler Austin for the starting first base spot because of what he managed to do as the starter in the second half of 2015.
Similarly, in a recent appearance on the YES Network’s “Hot Stove,” principal owner Hal Steinbrenner revealed that he expected Aaron Judge to be the starting right fielder in 2017 despite his struggles during his MLB debut last year. Cashman had previously said that Judge would need to re-earn that starting job, but Steinbrenner’s comments would seem to indicate he’s the strong favorite.
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If there are any more changes to the lineup over the next few months, they seem more likely to be subtractions rather than additions. Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Chase Headley are all rumored to be available via trade, but no serious suitors have emerged as of yet.
Assuming the Yankees hang onto their veterans, their 2017 Opening Day lineup should look something like this: