It’s really easy to remember 2009 as the year the Yankees won the World Series and the year Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia all came to the Bronx. Seven years later, all three are likely to have left New York with one World Series ring and an unceremonious departure when their time comes, if it hasn’t already.
Burnett was traded to the Pirates after being mostly unspectacular (but healthy) with an occasional well pitched game in big spots. The only legitimate remnants from his career in the Bronx is Diego Moreno in the farm system, a pitcher acquired in return.
Sabathia will likely be a dim spot in the rotation for the next two years, a career deteriorated four years too early for the Yankees’ liking.
Teixeira will likely finish the final five years of his eight year contract never playing more than 123 games in a season and leaving no doubt first base will be manned by a recovering Greg Bird or a Free Agent the year after Tex’s contract expires.
But those players are largely credited as the bright spot in 2009; the year the Yankees finally won a World Series after eight consecutive failures. In 2016, these players are going to be relied upon another seven years later, but are no longer the focal points of the future. But what about the draft that season? The real vehicle in trying to navigate a franchise’s future.
The Yankees will have six players directly or indirectly traced back to 2009, almost undoubtedly the best year for drafting in Brian Cashman’s career. Sabathia and Teixeira, though past their primes and with contracts winding down, will still be relied upon as parts of the rotation and the middle of the order as we mentioned, thus still having an impact, but they will have the least impact on the future compared to other names that can be traced back to 2009.
Aroldis Chapman, Starlin Castro, Bryan Mitchell and Aaron Hicks can all be credits on the team thanks to 2009 as well. We will cover this in much more detail when we review Brian Cashman’s draft tenure as GM of the Yankees, but suffice it to say you never know when a draft pans out or what it leads to. The Yankees, while the world viewed them for their wallet and free agent signings when it won the World Series in 2009, actually made quite a few decisions leading to basically its entire winter of activity in 2016.