The 2012 New York Yankees will be largely unchanged from last season.
But which familiar faces will still be in pinstripes in 2013?
For the second straight winter, long-term contracts will ensure that many of the team's significant contributors stay put.
Derek Jeter ($17 million), Alex Rodriguez ($28 million), C.C. Sabathia ($23 million) and Mark Teixeira ($22.5 million) are all due hefty salaries for that season.
General manager Brian Cashman couldn't do much better filling their respective positions, anyway.
All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano is due a raise in 2013 and beyond. There's no doubt, though, that the front office will oblige with a back-loaded extension sometime during summer.
Next is Curtis Granderson, whose $15 million team option will certainly be picked up. He is a terrific presence in the clubhouse and recently an American League MVP candidate.
Yankee fans can also count on Russell Martin being their starting catcher. Brian Cashman is working out a long-term deal with him.
Although the exact figures being discussed are unknown, Martin is likely to annually earn at least double what he received last season ($4 million) when he was a low-risk signing.
Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan and David Robertson will all be going through arbitration. Typically, relievers don't earn much through the process and the Yankees would be glad to retain them if their 2012 performances mirror what they accomplished in 2011.
Ivan Nova—hopefully a staple in the starting rotation for the next dozen years—isn't going anywhere.
Jesus Montero has the potential to be as productive as any designated hitter, plus he can play behind the plate.
Eduardo Nunez needs to be kept with the organization as insurance for Jeter and A-Rod aging.
These three won't even be arbitration eligible, so their 2013 salaries will be negligible.
Other keepers include outfielder Brett Gardner and starting pitcher Phil Hughes. With good health and career-best campaigns, though, these two could make decent money in arbitration.
I keep alluding to money because it has become increasingly obvious over the past couple years that this team's payroll is finite.
The front office has been reluctant to spend more than $200 million on its players and I'm assuming that practice won't change by 2013.
I don't believe, for example, that the Yankees will pay Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano for that season.
Soriano is due $14 million in 2013 and Rivera is accustomed to earning even more, although he will be a 43-year-old free agent after 2012.
If Mo declines retirement, Soriano—provided that he's coming off a bounce-back season—could be dealt to another team in need of a top-notch closer.
Which New York Yankees player is most likely to leave before the 2013 season?
In such a trade, the Yankees could realistically acquire a middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher and fourth outfielder.
They'll have openings at both positions, I believe, because Freddy Garcia and Andruw Jones don't seem like smart signings for a roster that is already among the oldest in baseball.
Earlier, I expressed my doubt that New York will allow Robinson Cano to hit the open market, which means Nick Swisher will be the Yankees most prominent free agent.
Might he stay with the organization?
My gut says no.
Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers will simultaneously become available. After a couple offseasons of letting all the big fish move to other ponds, I expect Cashman to reel this one in regardless of the expense.
The elephant in the room is troubled hurler A.J. Burnett. I am confident that he'll finish up his awful contract elsewhere.
Top prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances should be MLB-ready by 2013 and at least one will be a starter.
Unfortunately, the Yankees will be signing many of Burnett's checks, that is if they expect to get anything in return for him.
They will literally be paying him to pitch for somebody else, but I think we are all fine with that, right?