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Insider

Assessing Yankees lineup; HOF thoughts

It appears the Yankees are loading up on lefties, including Stephen Drew (left) and Didi Gregorius. Getty Images

The price on Stephen Drew dropped far enough that the Yankees made a move -- the two sides are close to finalizing a one-year deal -- to at least share some of the at-bats at second base, platooning with either Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela, and serve as a safety net if young shortstop Didi Gregorius struggles as the first to follow Derek Jeter.

In an era when specialization is the rule rather than the exception, with defensive shifts that are altered pitch to pitch and eight-man bullpens, the Yankees will have the ability to stack up nine hitters who can bat left-handed.

C Brian McCann (bats left-handed)
1B Mark Teixeira (switch hitter)
2B Stephen Drew (left)
SS Didi Gregorius (left)
3B Chase Headley (switch)
LF Brett Gardner (left)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (left)
RF Carlos Beltran (switch)
DH Garrett Jones (left)

That the Yankees value left-handed hitting is hardly a revelation. With the exception of a few years in the middle of George Steinbrenner's time as owner, the Yankees have always placed a premium on left-handed hitting, driven initially by the success of Babe Ruth and the construction of their home ballpark.

But the ability to stack up left-handed hitters might be especially relevant in 2015 in the AL East, which generally lacks left-handed pitching and, more to the point, elite left-handed pitching, such as David Price and Jon Lester, who were traded out of the division last season.