After the jump is a list of the eight guys who started the most games for the Yankees at each of the eight fielding positions for the Yankees in 2013:
C: Chris Stewart
1B: Lyle Overbay
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Jayson Nix
SS: Eduardo Nunez
LF: Vernon Wells
CF: Brett Gardner
RF: Ichiro Suzuki
Right now, the Yankees expect that when this list is compiled for 2014, all eight positions will have a different name by them. Overbay, Cano, Nix, and Wells are no longer with the team. Center field, right field and catcher are expected to be manned this coming season by expensive new free agents. And Derek Jeter is expected back — for one final season — at short after injuries largely wiped out his 2013. Brett Gardner is still expected to be a starter, but in left field this season instead of center. If things do pan out as anticipated, 2014 will see the most complete turnover of this type in Yankees franchise history.
The only previous year-over-year transition in which the Yanks did not repeat their most common starter at any of the eight defensive positions was the 1966 to 1967 transition. Mickey Mantle and Joe Pepitone exchanged starting defensive positions. Horace Clarke moved from short to second to replace the retiring Bobby Richardson. Elston Howard, Clete Boyer and Roger Maris were traded, and Roy White lost his starting job (though he soon got it back). But with Mantle, Pepitone and Clarke all returning to the starting lineup albeit at different positions, even that transition wan’t as complete as the anticipated 2013 to 2014 changeover.
Injuries could still result in the 2014 Yanks ending up with a returning starter or two: an injury to newcomer Jacoby Ellsbury, for example, would likely put Gardner back in center. But for the moment, it appears that the Bombers’ regular starting lineup this coming season will be as dramatically different year-over-year as it has ever been.