Diving into the depths: New York Yankees

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
New York Yankees
Rotation
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J. Burnett
3. Andy Pettitte
4. Javier Vazquez
5. Joba Chamberlain
6. Phil Hughes
7. Chad Gaudin
8. Sergio Mitre
9. Chan Ho Park
10. Alfredo Aceves
11. Zach McAllister
12. Kei Igawa
13. Dustin Moseley
14. Jason Hirsh
15. George Kontos
16. Ivan Nova
I think I’d rather see Hughes in the rotation if there’s only room for one, but Chamberlain appears to have the edge for the fifth spot at the start of camp. The loser in the competition will likely function as the team’s eighth-inning guy. The Yankees don’t intend to send either back to Triple-A to work as a starter.
Bullpen
1. Mariano Rivera
2. Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain
3. Damaso Marte
4. Chan Ho Park
5. David Robertson
6. Alfredo Aceves
7. Chad Gaudin
8. Edwar Ramirez
9. Boone Logan
10. Sergio Mitre
11. Jonathan Albaladejo
12. Mark Melancon
13. Dustin Moseley
14. Romulo Sanchez
15. Royce Ring
16. Kei Igawa
17. Kevin Whelan
18. Jason Hirsh
19. Christian Garcia
20. Zack Segovia
21. Wilkin De La Rosa
Park’s addition means another very qualified reliever is going to be left out on Opening Day. Gaudin is due $2.95 million this year, a salary that would seem to make him a lock. However, his contract isn’t guaranteed. Same goes for Mitre. Either could be cut or traded at the end of the spring.


Catcher
1. Jorge Posada
2. Francisco Cervelli
3. Mike Rivera
First base
1. Mark Teixeira
2. Nick Johnson
3. Juan Miranda
Second base
1. Robinson Cano
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Kevin Russo
4. Reegie Corona
Third base
1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Kevin Russo
Shortstop
1. Derek Jeter
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Eduardo Nunez
Pena is currently set to occupy a utility role, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees trade a reliever for a veteran backup late in the spring. Pena offers a lot defensively, but he’s far from an ideal option to play regularly in the event of an injury.
Left field
1. Brett Gardner
2. Randy Winn
3. Marcus Thames
4. Jamie Hoffmann
5. Reid Gorecki
Center field
1. Curtis Granderson
2. Brett Gardner
3. Randy Winn
4. Greg Golson
5. Reid Gorecki
Right field
1. Nick Swisher
2. Randy Winn
3. Marcus Thames
4. Jamie Hoffmann
5. David Winfree
Designated hitter
1. Nick Johnson
2. Marcus Thames
3. Jorge Posada
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Nick Swisher
Hoffman, the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, seems like a big long shot to make the team now with Winn and Thames in camp. Thames makes plenty of sense as a left fielder and DH against lefties, though Winn still could end up as Gardner’s platoon partner. I imagine that manager Joe Girardi will just ride the hot hand between the three of them.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.