New York Yankees News: 3/9/12

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 8: Infielder Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees waives to fans before play against the Toronto Blue Jays March 8, 2012 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

- The Yankees finalized one-year contracts with pre-arbitration players Michael Pineda ($528,475), Ivan Nova ($527,200), Cory Wade ($508,925), and Eduardo Nunez ($523,800). League Minimum this year is $480,000, so it's kind of amazing to see the talent the Yankees have in Pineda and Nova while paying them just over that. Players like that will really be vital in order for the Yankees to get under the luxury tax limit in the next few years.

- Mike Axisa from River Ave Blues discusses the top stories to look out for in 2012. Last year we had DJ3K, the rise of Jesus Montero, and Mariano Rivera breaking the saves record. This season has it's own set of things to watch out for, most with slightly less fanfare. It's not really a surprise that Michael Pineda coming to New York is first on his list.

-Michael Eder at The Yankee Analysts makes a bold prediction about Phil Hughes' 2012 season. He thinks that Phil Hughes will be good enough to be classified as the 2nd starter for the Yankees this season. I don't know if my optimism is that high, because I'd be happy if he just makes it through the season as a good 4-5 starter. It would be nice, though.

- For those unnecessarily worried because the last few Spring Training games have gone poorly, Brien Jackson at It's About The Money, Stupid has a post to remind you of what these games really mean. His answer? Nothing. So before you press the panic button about Pineda's velocity or Nova getting rocked by the Blue Jays, please keep that in mind. It's just Spring Training.

- If you'd like to read about Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein's Top 20 Yankees Prospects without a subscription, you can do so here, at River Ave Blues. He ranks Manny Banuelos and Gary Sanchez as the two five star prospects in the system. Be better defensively, Gary. Please?

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