We've spent a lot of time here talking about the 2014 roster, how to get to $189 million (when that was a thing), and how to best maneuver the team for the upcoming season. Obviously, long term deals like the ones handed out to McCann, Ellsbury, and Tanaka have their own implications, but setting up for 2015 can be difficult when 2014 was such a huge obstacle. What most of us have overlooked is the potential plan for 2015 and beyond, but David P. on twitter pointed out that the crop of Yankee free agents in 2014-2015 is extremely old
With Derek Jeter announcing his retirement, we can now safely say that the roster will lose the Captain in 2015, along with other departing free agents Alfonso Soriano, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, Kelly Johnson, and Brian Roberts. The collective age of this list (plus Jeter) is 35.5 years old, a rather ridiculously old group of free agents. With Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera also gone, the difference between the collective age of the 2013 roster and 2015 roster could be extreme. Let's take a look at that roster as it stands.
C- Brian McCann (31) 1B- Mark Teixeira (35) 2B- SS- 3B- Alex Rodriguez (39) LF- CF- Jacoby Ellsbury (31) RF- Carlos Beltran (38) DH- BN- Brendan Ryan (33) BN- Francisco Cervelli (29) BN- Eduardo Nunez (28) BN- Zoilo Almonte (26) SP1- CC Sabathia (34) SP2- Masahiro Tanaka (26) SP3- Ivan Nova (28) SP4- Michael Pineda (26) SP5- David Phelps (28) CL- SU- Shawn Kelley (31) RHRP- Preston Claiborne (27) RHRP- Adam Warren (27) RHRP- Dellin Betances (27) LHRP- Matt Thornton (38) LHRP- Manny Banuelos (24)
The average age of this roster is 30.3 years old, which we can compare to the average 31.9 year old age of all the combined players in 2013. With the uncertainty of Rodriguez' return after his 2014 suspension, this age could still drop significantly.
The Yankee front office is obviously hoping that some of their position prospects rebound for 2015, which would include Gary Sanchez, Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin, and Mason Williams. The team still needs some massive help in the infield, and fortunately the 2014-2015 free agent market looks to have some interesting depth.
This overall youth movement is necessary after the mess of injuries we saw in 2013. Not only were the older player succumbing to wear and tear, but the older players signed for the bench couldn't handle full-time duties in the absence of starters. The 30.3 average age isn't necessarily young, but it's a step in the right direction for a team that's played against the odds of age regression for the last decade.