Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Closer: David Robertson, 100%
David Robertson is the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera; at least, that's what owner Hal Steinbrenner told Joel Sherman and Dan Martin of the New York Post:
I have a lot of confidence in Robertson, and so does (manager) Joe (Girardi). Robertson is going to be our closer, and I believe he will do a good job. We have done a lot to improve our team, and we just have to understand that you cannot be perfect everywhere.
Robertson has eight saves over his career, though those all came in spots where he was spelling Rivera. Now, Robertson will be the de facto closer.
Bullpen Locks: Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne, David Phelps, Adam Warren
Replacing Rivera will be hard, but replacing Robertson in the eighth inning will be equally as difficult. It appears as if Shawn Kelley will be given the opportunity to take over that role, though Andrew Bailey could very well assume the role once he's ready to go sometime in September.
Preston Claiborne will resume his role as a middle reliever after a strong rookie campaign in 2013, and Adam Warren, after posting a 3.39 ERA over 77.0 innings last season, will join him in middle relief. Matt Thornton will take over the left-handed reliever's role following Boone Logan's departure to the Colorado Rockies.
David Phelps will become the long man after losing out on the No. 5 starter's battle to Michael Pineda.
Those in Competition: Dellin Betances, Cesar Cabral, Manny Banuelos, Vidal Nuno
Presumably, there will be one spot left in the bullpen if the pieces fall as I predict they will.
Both Vidal Nuno, Manny Banuelos and Cesar Cabral would provide insurance for Thornton as left-handers, but their track record isn't very strong (nor is it long). While they'll be given every opportunity to make the roster, in all likelihood, the final spot will go to Dellin Betances.
Betances has the potential to be a lock-down reliever. He largely failed as a starter and worked as a reliever in the minors at the end of the 2013 season. With a hard fastball and filthy slider, Betances has the two-pitch arsenal to succeed in the bullpen.
Who knows? He might even work his way into the setup man's role with a strong start to the year.