Players are superstitious people and the number they wear is usually a part of that. Most players try to keep the same number throughout their professional career. Some even pay others for their number when they go to a new team. Unfortunately, when you're on the Yankees, that can be difficult to accomplish. The Yankees have the most uniform numbers retired at 17. Brian McCann, their new starting catcher wears number 16, which belongs to Whitey Ford, so he'll have to decide on a new number, but what will it be?
Sometimes players try to pick a uniform number that's close to the one they're used to wearing. He won't be able to wear 15 because that has been retired for Thurman Munson, but 17 is free. The number 17 has been worn by Jayson Nix for the last two years. It's highly likely that Nix will be gone in 2014, but if he's somehow back with the team, McCann could probably buy it off him. If Curtis Granderson leaves in free agency, the number 14 would be free and he could drop down two numbers in order to have one of the lowest in the lineup.
Other times players will add numbers to the one they want, like when David Wells took 33 for Babe Ruth's number or Alex Rodriguez took 13 to replace his customary number 3 because of Babe Ruth's number. McCann could go with a 26, which, like with Nix, could be seized from Eduardo Nunez. The number 36 has been freed up now that Kevin Youkilis is a free agent, and while 46 is open, since Andy Pettitte has retired, it's not likely to be circulated for awhile.
A starter on the Yankees wouldn't go further than that. The good players get the lower numbers, obviously. I would say that McCann takes the number 14 or 26, but that's just my gut feeling.