When the Yankees won the 2009 World Series, it seemed like they were on top of the world and nothing could bring them down. When the Yankees made the postseason in 2010, 2011 and 2012, it seemed like the Yankees just had to add a few pieces here and there in order to make the ball club another World Series caliber team. But when they missed the postseason in both 2013 and 2014, the Yankees had taken multiple steps backwards and were now a mediocre team.
As we reach the 2015 season, there are only four players on the roster from the 2009 World Series championship: Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. However, three of those four players have declined; Rodriguez is 40-years-old and has played approximately 40 games in the last two seasons following a suspension from the Biogenesis scandal, Sabathia is coming off knee surgery and it’s questionable whether he can pitch effectively if at all and Teixeira has been absolutely injury prone.
It’s also worth mentioning only one of the names that are left from the 2009 World Series Championship is a homegrown Yankee: Gardner was drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft and was easily one of the best drafting choices in the last decade. With David Robertson going to the Chicago White Sox, Francisco Cervelli being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Derek Jeter retiring, Gardner stands as the longest tenured homegrown Yankee. However, Gardner’s not the only homegrown Yankee to make a meaningful contribution. As the seasons went on, the Yankees brought up more of their kids to earn a spot on the roster, ranging from David Phelps, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and Ivan Nova.
With the way the team is now, it’s time for the Yankees to make a new core of players, and that means bringing up their minor league talent and see what they have. Do they have a new superstar in Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela? Do they have another legitimate catcher in John Ryan Murphy? It’s hard to answer those questions when they’re sitting in Triple-A, taking at-bats that belong to slightly unpolished players in the organization.
The Yankees are a little while away from becoming a World Series team, so in the meantime it wouldn’t hurt to have a competition in Spring Training to see which young homegrown is ready for the bright lights in the Bronx. The next Robinson Cano, the next Brett Gardner, or the next David Robertson could be in the organization, but the Yankees don’t know it cause they won’t give the kids a try.