Jeter's farewell, Tanaka's arrival highlight Yanks

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2014 at 5:35 pm •  Published: March 25, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter is saying goodbye. Masahiro Tanaka is saying hello.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are new to the Bronx; David Robertson is new to the closer's role. And Alex Rodriguez is nowhere to be seen.

Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte have retired, and Robinson Cano has moved to Seattle.

After missing the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years, the New York Yankees will look a whole lot different. And for the first time since 1998, they don't have baseball's highest payroll.

"I think it is probably the biggest transition I've been through," manager Joe Girardi says.

For only the second time in team history and the first time since 1947, every position on opening day other than the mound will be manned by a different Yankees player on opening day than in New York's previous opener.

New York's forgettable 2013 season began with an 8-2 loss to Boston, with Kevin Youkilis at first, Cano at second, Eduardo Nunez at shortstop, Jayson Nix at third, Francisco Cervelli behind the plate, Vernon Wells in left, Brett Gardner in center and Ichiro Suzuki in right.

The only holdover for Tuesday's opener at Houston figures to be Gardner, who has shifted to left. The rest of the starting lineup figures to have McCann behind the plate, Mark Teixeira at first, Brian Roberts at second, Jeter at shortstop, Kelly Johnson at third, Ellsbury in center and Beltran in right.

CC Sabathia will be the constant on the mound. He's coming off the poorest of his 13 major league seasons at 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA.

"Nobody wants to go through that again," he says. "It sticks with me a lot. Just being disappointed in not being able to help this team win. I feel like if I could have been a little better we might have made the playoffs. I blamed myself for a long time in the offseason and now I'm over it and ready to go this year.

Here are five things to know about the Yankees going into the season:

JETER'S FAREWELL TOUR: Limited to 17 games last year after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 AL championship series, the 13-time All-Star shortstop said before spring training of his 20th big league season will be his final one. A five-time World Series champion, Jeter got off to a 5 for 44 (.114) start at the plate in spring training. Is it rust for the soon-to-be 40-year-old following four stints on the disabled list last year? Or is he done? The captain's April at-bats will be scrutinized.