It was less than an hour after Mark Teixeira squeezed the final out of the World Series in his glove that Joe Girardi talked about switching his number from 27 to 28 to symbolize the Yankees’ quest for their next title. Such is life with the team, success is expected and failure is measured as anything less than a World Series victory.

Luckily for the Yankees and their followers, this current team is very well positioned to fulfill those near impossible expectations. GM Brian Cashman had an active offseason, pulling off two big trades and a free agent signing while saying goodbye to some very popular, but older Yankees. Cashman essentially replaced the very popular Hidkei Matsui and Johnny Damon with Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. Granderson and Johnson are both much younger than the players they are replacing, but they will have to prove they can provide the big hits and clutch plays of their predecessors. Johnson, assuming he's healthy enough to start the season, will hit second and Granderson seventh in the revamped lineup that will see Robinson Cano moved up to the fifth spot.

In 2009, the Yankees became the first team in almost twenty years to win the World Series while using only three starters, but they won’t attempt that feat again. Returning to the Bronx is Javier Vazquez who is best remembered for one of the worst moments in Yankees’ history, but is in reality a pretty good pitcher. Vazquez will join Phil Hughes and the big three from last year in what should be a very good rotation.
Backing up the rotation is a bullpen that will be very hard to score upon.

Mariano Rivera will pitch the ninth, but the Yankees have several weapons to deploy before him. Joba Chamberlain is back in a setup role and will probably pitch the eighth. Damaso Marte (also potentially ailing) and David Robertson, two pitchers who showed a lot in the playoffs last year will be joined by the newly acquired Chan Ho Park to help get the ball to Mariano.

Add it all up and you have a team that should go deep into the playoffs and be favored to win it all if they get there. What will ultimately decide if the Yankees have another journey down the Canyon of Heroes is the overall health of the team. Despite their efforts to get younger, the Yankees still have several older players. Playing in the cutthroat AL East, they can’t afford to lose any of them for a significant amount of time.