5 things to know about the Yankees going into camp - Columbia-Greene Media: Sports

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5 things to know about the Yankees going into camp

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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:30 am

NEW KIDS IN TOWN: After missing the playoffs for the second time in 19 years, the Yankees added pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran for a total commitment of $438 million. Add in Tanaka’s $20 million fee to his Japanese club, agreements to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda and Brendan Ryan, and to add Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Matt Thornton, and the Yankees’ offseason spending on free agents totaled $471 million. The approach was similar to the Yankees’ response after missing the playoffs in 2008: They spent $423.5 million on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, then won their 27th World Series title. Tanaka replaces Andy Pettitte in the starting rotation, while McCann takes over a catcher’s spot largely filled by Chris Stewart after Francisco Cervelli’s right hand was broken by a foul tip on April 26. Ellsbury and Beltran slot into outfield spots split mostly among Curtis Granderson, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells last year, with Soriano and Suzuki remaining for now to seek at-bats in backup and designated hitter roles.

THEY’RE BACK (BUT CAN THEY STAY?): Derek Jeter, who turns 40 on June 26 and announced Wednesday this will be his last season, and Mark Teixeira, who turns 34 on April 11, both are coming off major injuries that sidelined them for most of last year. The Yankees used a team-record 56 players last season, when they put 21 players on the disabled list in 28 stints that totaled 1,493 days lost, according to STATS. In the most frustrating season of his career, Jeter hit .190 (12 for 63) with one homer and seven RBIs, playing 13 games at shortstop and four at designated hitter. He broke his left ankle Oct. 13, 2012, during the AL championship series opener against Detroit and was limited to five spring training games last year. He stayed behind when the team broke camp for rehabilitation at New York’s minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., and broke the ankle again in April. Jeter missed the first 91 games of the season, then felt pain his right quadriceps when he returned July 11. He went back on the DL, returned July 28 for three games, then strained his right calf. Back in the lineup on Aug. 26, he played through Sept. 7, when he left for a pinch-runner after singling against Boston. While scans of the left ankle were negative, the Yankees said four days later his season was over. Teixeira missed the first 53 games because of a torn sheath in his right wrist sustained while with the U.S. team at the World Baseball Classic. He returned May 31, hit .151 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 53 at-bats, then had surgery July 2.

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