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Blog Entry

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: November 24, 2011 12:26 am

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.

It's late November. The awards have all been handed out. The Winter Meetings are in a few weeks. Pitchers and catchers don't report for almost three months. So it's the perfect time to kick off a fun little series. So we're starting the Homegrown series right now. We have a landing page that will be filled out as we move forward with the feature -- on which you can see the exact date we'll be posting each individual team.

What I love most about this series is that it has the potential to either enlighten or vindicate rabid fans in heated arguments. Large-market, big-spending teams are often attacked by opposing fans as simply trying to "buy championships" without having to develop their own talent. The biggest target is the Yankees, so what better team to start the series with?

The news is pretty good for the haters. You have been vindicated. This team would be ... well, you'll see.


1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
5. Jesus Montero, 1B
6. Melky Cabrera, RF
7. Austin Jackson, CF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Starting Rotation

1. Ian Kennedy
2. Ivan Nova
3. Phil Hughes
4. Chien-Ming Wang
5. Jeff Karstens


Closer - Mariano Rivera
Set up - John Axford, David Robertson, Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, Joba Chamberlain
Long - Phil Coke? Jose Contreras?

Notable Bench Players

Jorge Posada, Dioner Navarro, Juan Rivera, Jose Tabata ... and that's about it. Unless Marcus Thames and Shelley Duncan get you excited.

What's Good?

That bullpen is sick. It would easily be the best in baseball, with any lead past the fifth inning seemingly being safe in the hands of Clippard, Robertson, Axford and Rivera.

What's Not?

Anything else. Nothing is horrible, but the lineup, defense and rotation leave a lot to be desired. What's worse, there's really no depth in case of injuries. They'd have to turn to either Coke or a minor leaguer (Dellin Betances?) in the rotation -- or convince Andy Pettitte to come out of retirement -- and Ramiro Pena is the only backup infielder. There are plenty of backup outfielders, but Tabata's really the only one with upside.

Comparison to real 2011

Well, let's see. The 2011 Yankees won 97 games en route to a division title and the best record in the American League. This team is mediocre at best. The bullpen is awesome, but how many leads would there be to protect? 75? There is an MVP candidate in Cano, but having Soriano as protection isn't near as cushy as he's used to. Since this is the first team in our 30-team series, we won't reveal many other specifics, but I can tell you that this Yankees team would probably finish fourth in the AL East. Thus, it's much worse than reality. I have no way of measuring this, but I do think this team is better than many Yankee-hating fans would have guessed. Lots of those act like the Yankees have never developed anyone. This isn't an awful collection, it's just not good.

Now, it's absolutely worth noting the Yankees lost lots of draft picks as compensation for signing free agents, so that's why they don't have any depth. But let's just remember this is supposed to be a fun exercise for the offseason.

Up next: San Diego Padres

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Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: December 24, 2011 3:54 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

Jeter ended up being the 6th pick in the nation.  The Yankees had horrible teams back in the early 90s, which is the only way a team has access to a player like Jeter through the amateur draft. The Astros passed on Jeter, instead selecting Phil Nevin. The Yankees signed Jeter for all of 800K.  The head of the Astros scouting resigned after the Astros ignored his advice.  It's actually pretty easy to sign great young players like Jeter, or a Harper or a Strasburg.  Just have a team that sucks.  It becomes much more difficult for winning teams.  Rivera signed for all of 8,000.  He was a non-prospect.  Any team could have picked him up.  

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:13 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

sorry, forgot, cano was bought also and probably cabrera and a few others, very few guys on this list were actually drafted. 

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:07 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

Hold the fort, there is something very wrong with this list. Yankee haters still have a beef. Many of the so called homegrown Yankees, and probably the best of the lot werent drafted, they were bought. Alphonso Soriano, was bought from a Japanese team and the yankees paid dearly for him. Derek Jeter was given a huge bonus at the time by the yankees after other teams were scared away when he threatened to go to college if he wasnt given money. Jeter never would have slipped to the yankees to draft if other teams could afford the bonus. Jesus Montero, wasn't drafted either, he was signed for 1.6 million dollars as a foreign free agent. In addition, I dont even think Mariano Rivera was drafted, he was also bought, although for a lesser amount. This list by far does not debunk the yankee haters theory of buying championships. If you just take away these four, they have a horrible team. 

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

Actually, I have a better one.. Sam Bowie or Michael Jordan

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:57 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

It's not like football where a very high draft pick gets you the franchise quarterback you have to have. (Or Ryan Leaf, perhaps.)
Haha... Or perhaps in the bottom of the draft (round 6 of 7) where you can find a Tom brady.

The point is, you never know what you're going to get in the draft. You just don't.
Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, anybody??

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:54 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

No wonder they have to buy talent to be competitive.  They cant draft for shit
Wow, really?
They've got a few HOFers on that list alone, let alone their history.
EVERY team has good picks and bad picks.
And many times, a high level prospect doesn't work out but there's no way to know that when the player is a blue chip 19 year old.
By the way.. this is obviously just a hypothetical exercise but no team has a full roster of home grown players. They all go out and "buy" talent.
Not to mention the fact that if they didn't go out and get the players they have right now, they would have had quite a few more players on that roster who might be worth something by not having lost draft picks.

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:51 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

No wonder they have to buy talent to be competitive.  They cant draft for shit
Wow, really?
They've got a few HOFers on that list alone, let alone their history.
EVERY team has good picks and bad picks.
And many times, a high level prospect doesn't work out but there's no way to know that when the player is a blue chip 19 year old.
By the way.. this is obviously just a hypothetical exercise but no team has a full roster of home grown players. They all go out and "buy" talent.

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:17 am

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

I'll start at the top of the batting order.B.Gardner-A better leadoff hitter than Austin Jackson would be,however if his BB:K ratio was 1:1 he'd be one of the top leadoff hitters in the game.He had a better 2010 than 2011.His OBP was 383,he drew 79BBs & scored 97Rs as a result.His defense is very good covering a huge amount of real estate in LF,fundumentally sound,hits the cut-off man & gives up his body.Derek Jeter's been on the decline since '07 or '08,though he seemed reenergized with an off season workout program after 2008 & it showed in '09.He's going to the Hall of Fame as much for his leadership as he is for his exploits on the field.Has a flair for the dramatic.No longer has the range to go in the hole & make the jump throw to 1st Base.He picks his spots when stealing bases.Durable,has to be forced to take a day off.Still can drive the inside pitch to right field with the best of 'em,which makes him an ideal #2 hitter hitting behind a 50SB guy,yet will drive an occasional mistake.Robbie Cano-Reminds me of Rod Carew as far as putting the ball where he wants to.His power has obviously improved.Has became a better baserunner last year.Doesn't have speed of a middle infielder but who cares when he's going to hit over.300 with 25HRs,100RBI & 100R.Has phenominal range,especially going to his right,makes the toughest throws with the greatest of ease.Alfonso Soriano-Seems to lack concentration from time to time defensively.Will go on tears but they don't last as long as they used to.Susceptible to the cutter or a good sharp slider.Doesn't run as often as he used to.Will murder a mistake pitch.Always has had strong wrists that allows him to jerk an inside pitch.Jesus Montero-His defense would need work & as a Catcher needs work also.Has good power to RF,which I believe will translate to all fields as he matures.Hits the ball high & hard.Would love to see more line drives from him because he's going to get his HRs.Once he learns the Pitchers he could hit.300.This Organization teaches patients at the plate so hopefully could develop into a Posada-like 1:1 BB:K ratio.Melky Cabrera-At this point in his career he has no doubts that he belongs in the Majors & as a starter.Has a rocket for an arm.Is more of a doubles hitter than a HR hitter but in the right park(Yankee Stadium)could hit 20+.Gets good read on balls hit to him,goes back & comes in just as good.Not the fastest but has adequate speed that won't hurt you.In reality he & Robbie Cano were inseperable & I wonder if Melky getting away from Cano made him focus on baseball more.Austin Jackson-Steals a ton of bases but strikes out a ton to negate many of those steals.A strong defensive Centerfielder who has a good arm.Has pop in his bat however in order to strengthen his offensive abilities like his speed & power,he'll have to learn to be much more patient.He could get infield hits,hit HRs,Triples,Doubles,walk 100 times & from the 7 Hole with the hitters he has behind him,WOW!He'd be a lot like Granderson.Francisco Cervelli-A very fiery guy whether he's behind the plate or has a day off.If they penciled him in all 162gms.he'd probably go out there 162gms.Not much of a power guy but will occasionally crush a mistake;otherwise mostly just a singles hitter who's not going to win a Batting Title.His biggest attribute is his take charge personality & willingness to be a team player.Extremely underrated baseball player who can definitely be a starter at 2B,SS or 3B for a lot of Major League teams.Has deceptive speed.A good basestealer,not much pop at this stage of his career but he filled in more than admirably for Alex Rodriguez.Has quick enough reactions & a strong enough arm to play 3rd,enough range to play SS & can also fill in at 2B,which is probably his least best position if that makes sense.I'll do another one on the Pitching Staff & Bench.Sorry if I was too thorough.And BTW,Marcus Thames gets me real excited when he faces a tough Lefty or Pinch -Hits for a Left-Handed Hitter late in the game.I think Marcus Thames is a valuable member of a squad,though his strength is his bat.

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

I'm still waiting to find out how a team with 3 top 100 pitchers have zero depth.

Since: Jul 26, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:48 pm

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

If the Yankees do not have any depth, it isn't due to signing free agents and losing draft picks.  The problem would be the age of the free agents that are getting signed.  The Baseball Draft isn't like the NFL Draft in that there is a deep talent pool of young Baseball players and the NFL pool of talent is not as deep.  Regardless, the Yankees can spend their money however they want.  Lately though, they haven't been buying those championships so they might want to try something else.

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