Who will lead the Yankees when Derek Jeter is gone?

Jim McIsaac

The Yankees will be without their longtime captain next season. Who will step up and take on the role of team leader?

Since the mid-'90s, the Yankees have had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to leadership. When the team was struggling, they could look to one of the "core four" to get them back on track. From that group, Jeter is the only one still playing and, as you may have heard, he'll be retiring after this season. That means that for the first time in a long time the Yankees will have no clear leader on the field next season, but who is most likely to step up and fill those big shoes?

The Yankees are all about tradition, so it's a safe bet that the next team leader will be a guy who has been around for a while and won at least one ring in pinstripes. There are a handful of players that fit that description:

Brett Gardner - The speedy outfielder just signed a four-year contract extension, so he's not going anywhere. His successful 2013 campaign was one of the few bright spots in last year's disastrous season. Since he's not known as an outgoing or fiery guy, he would quietly lead by example a la Don Mattingly.

Mark Teixeira - Even before injuries started keeping him off the field last year, his production had been declining since 2009. It doesn't help that he has two years and many more millions of dollars left on his contract after this season. He has the reputation of being on the boring side, so his leadership might come in the form of organizing a team juice party or something.

CC Sabathia - The big fella is still trying to figure out how to pitch effectively while age and injury are sapping his velocity. He's still the staff ace by default, but Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda are pitching more like number ones so far this year. With his newfound dieting obsession, he could lead by starting a wacky new diet plan for the team.

David Robertson - After being given the unenviable task of taking over the closer role from Mariano Rivera, he's hit a speed bump in the form of a minor groin injury. Still, his track record shows that he should handle the role well and the Yankees would be wise to extend his contract. He's earned the nickname "Houdini" by being an escape artist on the mound so maybe he can inspire his teammates by performing magic tricks when they're struggling.

Alex Rodriguez - LOLZ

Who do you think will lead the Yankees in 2015? Vote below to let us know.

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