TAMPA, Fla. -- What I like, and dislike, about the Yankees:
Things I like
• The excellent starting rotation returns intact, and there's reason to hope ace CC Sabathia may be even better after an offseason that included an elbow cleanup and much rest.
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• Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. Sure, at some point the two all-time greats have to stop this. But why should it be this year? They are back, repaired and expressing their usual resolve to be their usual selves, which is nothing short of amazing.
• Robinson Cano is the best middle infielder in the game. The chances to re-sign him before free agency are practically nil, but it's doubtful the walk year will negatively impact his numbers.
• While they acted a little like a small-market club this winter, if they need help in July, you know they have the resources to get what they need.
Things I don't like
• The have five players 38 or older. All of them are excellent players, so that's at least a plus. But eventually everyone slows down (we think).
• There is a depth issue, both on the roster and in the minors, where things are especially dicey at the upper levels.
• It's going to be hard to pick a winner in a catching derby that pits three backups against a minor leaguer. The loss of Russell Martin without a fight remains the enigma of the winter.
• Without Swisher, Martin and Alex Rodriguez, there is a new issue with right-handed hitting. The switch-hitting Mark Teixeira and the old Red Sox Kevin Youkilis are the lone middle-of-the-order righty threats -- until A-Rod gets back, anyway.
• They can hide A-Rod in New York for now. But he remains a $30-million-a-year albatross no matter where he is.