Five years ago today, the New York Yankees won the 2009 American League pennant, advancing to the World Series and defeating the Philadelphia Phillies for their 27th World Series championship, the most in baseball history. The Yankees had one of the most powerful rosters that season and you would think the team wouldn’t have changed much since 2009. Well, five years later the Yankees have advanced to the ALDS twice, the ALCS once, and missed out on the postseason twice. The lack of winning isn’t the only thing that’s changed about the Yankees these days; so did the Yankees roster. Here are the players that played the final game of the American League Championship series five years ago.
- C Jorge Posada
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- 2B Robinson Cano
- SS Derek Jeter
- 3B Alex Rodriguez
- DH Hideki Matsui
- LF Johnny Damon
- CF Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner
- RF Nick Swisher
- SP Andy Pettitte
- RP Joba Chamberlain
- RP Mariano Rivera
As of right now, here’s the roster the Yankees would send out on Opening Day 2015, and let me tell you…it’s not pretty.
- C Brian McCann
- 1B Mark Teixeira (?)
- 2B Martin Prado (?)
- SS (????)
- 3B Alex Rodriguez (?)
- DH (????)
- LF Brett Gardner
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- RF Carlos Beltran (?)
- SP Masahiro Tanaka / CC Sabathia (?)
- RP (????)
I see you’ve noticed all of the question marks on the 2015 Opening Day roster versus the roster on the final day of the American League Championship series. Let’s quickly go over the many glaring question marks that the Yankees should address:
— Mark Teixeira’s numbers have been in a rapid decline following the 2009 season. Will he continue to free fall or will he bounce back with an All-Star type season?
— There’s no Derek Jeter next season, so who can the Yankees acquire from the free agent market to play shortstop? Stephen Drew? Hanley Ramirez? Perhaps they take another route and make a trade for Troy Tulowitzki?
— Martin Prado can play second base, but will the Yankees acquire a second basemen from the free agent market, or will they slot him there every single day? Will the Yankees give Rob Refnsyder and Jose Pirela a chance to win the job out of Spring Training?
— Coming off a year-long suspension, can 40-year-old Alex Rodriguez actually play third base following multiple hip procedures? Will the Yankees bring in another third basemen to move A-Rod to the bench?
— Who’s the Yankees DH? Could it be A-Rod or could it be someone that’s not on the team yet?
— Will Carlos Beltran be healthy enough to play almost every day in RF considering he’s injury prone?
— Who will start on Opening Day? Could it be Masahiro Tanaka who emerged as the Yankees ace? Could it be CC Sabathia based on being labeled a “workhorse” in Joe Girardi‘s binder? Will Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow tear hold up for an entire season? Will CC Sabathia be able to bounce back from knee surgery?
— Who’s closing the games? Will the Yankees re-sign David Robertson to be their closer? Will they let D-Rob walk and slot in Dellin Betances as the closer? Will the Yankees get another closer off the free agent market?
You probably couldn’t of imagined the Yankees needing to answer so many questions just five years after becoming World Champions. But here the Yankees are, needing to patch up the holes after another abysmal season.
Just five years ago, the Yankees were basking in the glory of a 27th World Series championship.
Now, fans are wondering how long it will take before the Yankees finally reach 28.