New York Yankees Initial Depth Chart for the 2014 Season

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New York Yankees Initial Depth Chart for the 2014 Season
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The New York Yankees enter the month of December in much the same way they exited the 2013 regular season—with many more questions than answers about the future of the roster.

Only now, the emotionally charged climax that saw the departures of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte has turned to the more heartless, calculated transactions surrounding Major League Baseball's Hot Stove.

As we take a look at the Bombers' initial depth chart for the 2014 season, four numbers are most significant for our consideration—189, 40, five and one. 

The Yankees are aiming to keep payroll under the $189 million threshold to avoid another 50 percent luxury tax for 2014.

Though this goal may quickly escape them as the winter months progress, if it were met, New York could reset its tax penalty to only 17.5 percent for 2015 (the tax penalty is reset if not exceeded).

That luxury-tax threshold, of course, concerns the construction of the 40-man roster.

Currently, the Yankees have about two-thirds of the starting positions answered, but enormous uncertainties surround the remaining holes. They are locked for catcher, first base, shortstop, left field, center field and right field.

Five is the number of starting pitchers the Yankees would hope to have confirmed by Opening Day—though two is the dismal current number. 

Finally, New York will need a closer.

The question here is not who can become the next Hall of Fame shutdown arm in the Bronx, it is whether the ninth-inning man will be a current Yankee or will be acquired in free agency.

As we find ourselves less than a week from the Winter Meetings in sunny Orlando, Fla., here is a first look at where the Yankees currently stand at each position and the corresponding targets they are after.

 

All statistics and metrics were obtained from Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs, respectively, unless otherwise noted. 

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