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The Lohud Yankees blog has reported that the Yankees have agreed to terms with first round pick Cito Culver.  Culver is currently a high school senior and cannot sign on the dotted line until after he graduates this weekend.

Lohud is reporting that Culver has backed out on his committment to attend the University  of Maryland opening the door for him to sign with the Yankees.

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Via multiple sources (both media and blogs), the Yankees have set their 25-man roster.

Here is the roster:

Pitchers:

CC Sabathia
AJ Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Javier Vazquez
Phil Hughes

Mariano Rivera
Joba Chamberlain
Damaso Marte
David Robertson
Chan Ho Park
Alfredo Aceves
Sergio Mitre

Catchers:

Jorge Posada
Francisco Cervelli

Infielders:

Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Robinson Cano
Mark Teixeira
Nick Johnson
Ramiro Pena

Outfielders:

Brett Gardner
Curtis Granderson
Nick Swisher
Marcus Thames
Randy Winn

Marcus Thames, Sergio Mitre, and Boone Logan were the three players on the bubble, not all three made the roster. Thames and Mitre will go to the Bronx, Logan will open up the season with Scranton.

The Yankees had questions about injuries to Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli, Alfredo Aceves, Nick Johnston and Damaso Marte. But they all made the roster.

Tonight the Yankees fly up to Beantown for game #1 of the 2010 regular season.

Let’s go YANK-EEEES!

Whenever the Yankees discuss trade packages, one name that does not come up at any time is the name of Jesus. Jesus Montero, that is.

Montero is the number one ranked player in the Yankees’ farm system and number five overall in all of the minor leagues and has been noted as the most effective hitter in Triple A. But his defense isn’t up to what is expected in the majors. Anthony McCarron’s article from yesterday in the Daily News offers perspective on Montero’s focus on his defense this offseason.

Montero could be up in the majors as early as this year, and that will be amazing for a 20-year old who is probably going to be Jorge Posada’s heir apparent.

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Baseball America has released its list of top 10 Yankees prospects.
1. Jesus Montero, c
2. Andrew Romine, c
3. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp
4. Slade Heathcott, of
5. Zach McAllister, rhp
6. Manny Banuelos, lhp
7. Gary Sanchez, c
8. J.R. Murphy, c
9. Jeremy Bleich, lhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp

There’s another, considerably different list at The Hardball Times.

Pinstripes Plus has its yearly can’t-miss list of the top 50 Yankees prospects.

Before the Granderson trade, John Manuel at Baseball America ranked the Yankees in the top half of all minor league systems, and even after the trade…the Yankees are still in the middle.

Chris’ previous post must have been written in the early morning.  By evening, most of the local news stations here in New York, as well as ESPN.com are reporting that a deal is very close to being done.  This would be the first major trade conducted at baseball’s Winter Meetings.

The deal has apparently morphed into a three-team deal amongst the Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks.  The Yankees would receive Granderson, and would have to give up Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke and their best outfield prospect of their farm system.

Arizona would get Tiger’s pitcher Edwin Jackson and starting pitcher Kennedy from the Yankees.  The Tigers would receive left-handed reliever Coke and Jackson from the Yankees as well as Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks.

He does bring a great defense to center field, but I’m still not sold on Granderson.  He has struggled against left-handed pitchers, strikes out a lot and has an atrocious .249 BA last season.  I don’t know a ton about Jackson, but he has been ranked among the top ten prospects in the outfield as well as one of the top in the Yankees farm system.  If they are willing to give him up, the Yankee brass must know something we don’t.

This can also mean one of two serious things for the Yankee outfield.  Either it means the Yankees have, or will have, no intention of re-signing Johnny Damon to man left-field,  OR, the Yankees still plan on signing Damon, but have no more use for Melky Cabrera and/or Brett Gardner in center.

Either way, for this story to get this much news, it must be getting serious.

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