Inside look at biggest storylines

Here’s an inside look at some issues facing the Yankees as the 2023 season approaches:

Best position battle

All eyes will be on shortstop, where incumbent Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe are set to compete for the starting job out of camp. The Yankees traded for Kiner-Falefa as a stopgap last spring and he proved serviceable but became enough of a defensive liability that he lost his starting role in the playoffs. Still, the Yankees tendered Kiner-Falefa a contract — at $6 million — as insurance in case Peraza and Volpe show they are not yet ready. Peraza, 22, impressed during a September call-up last season while the 21-year-old Volpe, the Yankees’ top prospect, has only played 22 games above Double-A. But there is a real chance that either one — with Peraza a step ahead on the development path — could emerge as the Yankees’ new starting shortstop by the end of camp.

Most intriguing minor leaguer

Aside from Volpe, who might not be a minor leaguer for much longer, this will be Jasson Dominguez. The Yankees’ outfield prospect arrived to the organization with huge hype that has since largely dissipated, but he is still only 20 years old and is coming off a solid 2022 split between mostly Single-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley before a brief, late-season promotion to Double-A Somerset. Now, Dominguez will get his first taste of major league camp as a non-roster invitee and could be in line to start the season at Double-A. Suddenly, his road to The Bronx doesn’t seem quite as long as it used to.

Anthony Volpe
All eyes will be on Anthony Volpe and the Yankees’ shortstop battle.
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Story to watch develop

Just how healthy is DJ LeMahieu? The veteran infielder was hampered by a broken bone in his foot during the second half of last season and it ultimately kept him off the Yankees’ playoff roster because he could not get his swing off properly. LeMahieu ultimately decided against surgery during the offseason, instead banking on rest and treatment to do the trick. Entering camp, all indications are that LeMahieu is feeling healthy, and the Yankees sorely need him to be at full strength to add a consistent, contact-oriented bat back to their lineup. A healthy LeMahieu, among other factors, could also allow the Yankees to trade Gleyber Torres if the return helps their roster elsewhere.

Manager’s toughest challenges

Aaron Boone will be tasked with figuring out who to play in left field, with his options currently limited, despite general manager Brian Cashman saying this winter he had wanted to add a lefty-swinging left fielder. Aaron Hicks would appear to be the favorite to land the starting job entering camp, despite the switch hitter coming off a brutal season. It’s possible that being another year removed from wrist surgery could benefit Hicks, but it might not be strictly physical with Hicks, who was the subject of growing jeers from the home crowd over the course of last season. Boone will have to play a role in trying to get Hicks back on track. If it doesn’t work, Boone will have to decide whether the versatile Oswaldo Cabrera is best used manning left field every day or see whether another option like Estevan Florial or non-roster invitees Rafael Ortega or Willie Calhoun emerge.

Most intriguing newcomer

Only two members of the Yankees’ 40-man roster were not in the organization last season — Carlos Rodon and Tommy Kahnle. But Rodon will be one of the most interesting players, old or new, to watch this spring after signing a six-year, $162 million contract. The left-hander has been one of the game’s top pitchers over the last two seasons but before that, he had trouble staying healthy. It will bear watching how the Yankees handle him early on, as well as how pitching coach Matt Blake might put his fingerprints on Rodon’s arsenal.

Carlos Rodón
Carlos Rodón will look to bolster the Yankees rotation.
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DJ LeMahieu participates in drilles at Yankees spring training on Feb. 13.
DJ LeMahieu participates in drills at Yankees spring training on Feb. 13.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Most notable absence

It might seem strange to say Andrew Benintendi will be missed when he only played 33 games in a Yankees uniform. But not only does he represent the kind of contact-oriented bat the Yankees were missing in the postseason last year while he was sidelined with a broken hamate, he also hasn’t been replaced as the Yankees enter camp without a surefire starting left fielder. The other noteworthy departure is Jameson Taillon, who wasn’t flashy but his steadiness could be missed in the No. 5 rotation spot that will likely be filled by Domingo German until Frankie Montas is healthy.

Don’t be surprised if it becomes an issue

Whenever they had a chance during the offseason, the Yankees publicly voiced confidence in Josh Donaldson, who is coming off a rough season offensively, will play this year at the age of 37 and still has $27 million left on his contract. But just how much of a leash will Donaldson have if he gets off to another slow start, especially with the fan base already impatient with him? The Yankees kept thinking he was due for an extended hot streak last season, but it never came. Do the Yankees consider other internal third-base options if Donaldson doesn’t show early signs of bouncing back this year?

Biggest comeback

Michael King was putting together a dominant and valuable season out of the bullpen last year — to the tune of a 2.29 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 51 innings — until he broke his elbow in July. He needed season-ending surgery to repair it, but fortunately for the Yankees avoided needing Tommy John surgery — at least thus far. If he remains on track in his rehab, King could be ready to break camp on the active roster, which would be a huge boost to the bullpen.

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