2010 New York Yankees Season Preview
For the first time in a decade, the New York Yankees will take the field as the defending World Series champions.
It was a big year for third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who finally got the postseason monkey off of his back and proved that he could lead his team to a World Series title.
It was also a big season for general manager Brian Cashman, who may have saved his job by signing first baseman Mark Teixeira and ace C.C.
Despite all of the talent around the diamond for the Yankees, there are some big questions heading into 2010.
There is no denying that the core group of this team continues to age and won't be able to turn back Father Time forever.
Shortstop Derek Jeter had an MVP-like year in 2009, but he isn't getting any younger. Catcher Jorge Posada is already well past his prime given his position, and pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera can't go on forever.
The Yankees also allowed World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to sign with the Los Angeles Angels, which takes a quality left-handed bat out of their lineup.
Speaking of quality left-handed hitters, the team also rebuffed Johnny Damon's contract proposal and let him walk as well.
Damon had an outstanding 2009 season, and his impact will be missed both on the field and in the clubhouse.
The team did make a trade in the offseason for Detroit Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson, who can certainly pick up the slack for the lost production. Still, it remains to be seen how he handles the New York spotlight.
The Yankees will once again be a favorite to win the World Series, but it's always tougher to win when you have a target on your back.