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For All the Yankee Haters Out There Who Say They "BUY" Their

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Take a look at the Yankee roster right now and tell me what you see.

There are Chien-Ming Wang and Phil Hughes in the rotation. Robinson

Cano, Melky Cabrera, and Andy Phillips are in the everyday lineup. Shelly

Duncan is a big bat off the bench. Jeff Karstens and now Joba

Chamberlain are filling valuable roles in the bullpen.

That's nearly one-third of the Yankee roster, and you know what they

represent? Products of the most maligned farm system in baseball.

The notion that the Yankees could help themselves from within was not

one that was met with much optimism a few years back. The jewels in the

farm system were simply over-hyped youngsters to be traded off for

established players. Hardly any came back to bite the Yanks in the rear

either. Eric Milton is an average big league starter. Nick Johnson has

had trouble staying healthy. Dioner Navarro has so far been overmatched

by major league pitching. And Ruben Rivera never did become that

five-tool player did he?

But now the Yankees have had to change the way they do business, in

large part thanks to a perception they are glad did not become reality.

Frankly, nobody thought the Yankees had any good players, at least not

high enough in the chain to help a major league team anytime soon

(Arizona didn't even ask about Wang or Cano in trade talks for Randy Johnson

in 2004 and Kansas City turned down a package that included Cano for

Carlos Beltran that same summer). Instead of trading these guys off, the

Yanks had to keep them and when their roster of older, injury-prone

All-Stars was sent to the DL, they dipped into reserve and pulled out the

guys nobody else wanted. It's a cast of characters taken from the

Island of Misfit Toys and they've made Brian Cashman as happy as a kid at

Christmas.

Wang was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2000. Summoned from the

minors during the early-season slumber of 2005, Wang went 8-5 to help

the Yankees recover and make the playoffs. He tied Johan Santana with

19 wins last season and is aiming toward 20 this season. Wang is the ace

of the staff and will become only the 4th pitcher in the last 25 years

to lead the team in wins in back to back seasons (Ron Guidry, Jimmy

Key, and Andy Pettitte are the others).

Cano was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2001. Arriving in the

same rescue mission that brought Wang to the big leagues in 2005, Cano

hit .297 as a rookie, then .342 last year. His work ethic was being

questioned a bit after his slow start this season, but he's rebounded to

pile 40 points onto his average, which is back over .300.

Cabrera was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2001. He played in 6

very forgettable games in 2005 as a 20-year old, overmatched both

offensively and defensively. He came back in 2006 after Gary Sheffield went

on the DL and was a solid contributor all year. His catch that robbed

Manny Ramirez of a home run will be on the highlight reel for years.

This year, Cabrera is hitting over .340 since June 1st when he became an

everyday player. He's also their best defensive outfielder.

Phillips was drafted in the 7th round in 1999. Between 1999 and 2004

he hit better than .300 at four different levels in the minor leagues,

but in his major league stints between 2004 and 2006 he hit a combined

.228. Along the way, Phillips battled some personal troubles that

clearly affected his play. His wife went through a battle with cancer last

year and his mother was involved in a bad car accident this past spring

that cost him any chance at making the major league roster. Coming back

in June, he's finally hitting like he did in the minors and playing

fine defense at first base. He won't be an All-Star, but he's the everyday

first baseman for the team with the best record in baseball over the

last month.

Duncan was drafted in the 2nd round in 2001. He slammed 93 home runs

across the last 4 seasons from A to AAA and wasn't even allowed into the

parking lot at Legends Field, never warranting so much as a non-roster

spring training invite. He struck out too much and every scout I know

said that's the reason he will never play in the majors, that his swing

has too many holes for that level. It's too early to make any judgment

on his big league future, but presently he's helping this team with

some big home runs.

Hughes was drafted in the 1st round (23rd overall) in 2004. He's had

"phenom" stamped on his forehead every step of the way. His combined

minor league totals from 2004 until his major league debut in May: 23-8,

2.24 ERA, 286 K's, 155 hits, 58 walks in 253.1 innings pitched. In his

second major league start he no-hit Texas into the 7th inning before a

hamstring injury put him on the shelf for 3 months. He's still a rookie,

mind you, but he's being counted on to make some important starts for

this team down the stretch.

Karstens was drafted in the 19th round in 2003. He shot through the

system last year after winning 11 straight decisions between AA and AAA.

He's solid if not spectacular and won two games for the Yankees late

last season. He's now a valuable swingman in the Yankee bullpen, perhaps

the same way Ramiro Mendoza once was.

Chamberlain was drafted 41st overall in 2006. A weight issue which

contributed to a knee injury, along with a marked drop in velocity, caused

him to drop as far as he did, but it was the Yankees' gain. After

starting in the Hawaiian Winter League just last October, he dominated the

minors before finally getting called up this week. Though too early to

tell, there are some who believe he can have the same impact for the

Yankees as Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) had with the Angels in 2002. Oh,

and when he's done fixing the Yankee bullpen, he'll likely go back to a

starting role next year where he's good enough to project as a future 1

or 2 starter.

All this came from a farm system that wasn't supposed to be any good.

What else is down there? Let's see…

Ian Kennedy was a 1st round pick last year, 21st overall. He's pitched

well enough at three different stops this year that he was added to

the Untouchables list at this year's trading deadline (along with Hughes

and Chamberlain).

Jose Tabata was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004. He turns

19 this month and is hitting over .300 in the Florida State League. He's

not hitting for much power yet, but anyone who's seen him loves his

swing and knows he'll develop more power as he gets older and stronger.

Brett Gardner was drafted in the 3rd round in 2005. A speedy

outfielder who doesn't hit for power but has turned heads and is now at AAA.

There are those in the Yankee organization who feel he can be a major

league outfielder inside of two years.

Austin Jackson was drafted in the 8th round in 2005. He struck out 151

times last year at Low-A Charleston but this year is hitting over .350

at Tampa of the Florida State League after a mid-summer promotion. The

Yankees talked him out of a basketball scholarship to Georgia Tech and

now he's a speedy outfielder that's got a good bit of potential.

RHP's Jeffrey Marquez and Alan Horne are a combined 21-12 at Double-A

Trenton. Not on the same level as Hughes, Kennedy, and Chamberlain but

worth keeping an eye on. Marquez rates higher than Horne with scouts

I've talked to and has definite potential as a major league starter.

Let's also throw in a couple of the guys who were acquired in trades

last winter:

Alberto Gonzalez is a bit offensively challenged, but is a good enough

defensive shortstop to play in the major leagues right now. Pitchers

Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson aren't moving quite as fast as

originally hoped and Humberto Sanchez underwent Tommy John surgery. The

verdict is still out on all, but at the time of these deals (for Randy

Johnson and Gary Sheffield) these were players who had experts moving the

Yankee farm system up the ladder in organizational rankings.

Now, remember…prospects are just that and nothing more. Just as

nobody talked about some of the players who turned out to be something

for the Yanks, the guys we're all talking about now could turn out to be

nothing a few years from now. But the organization certainly has

improved its standing with recent drafts and the player development doesn't

look as inept as we all thought it was a couple years ago when they

didn't have the chips to trade for the big fish.

How's that old proverb go? Give a man a fish and you feed him for a

day. Teach a man to fish and maybe you can build your team into a

contender.

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Great post. I am not in touch with the minor league system as I was when I lived in NYC. Its great that you guys keep me and many others informed of the doings.

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I've always thought you don't get enough credit for your baseball analysis, Bren. Well done. ;)

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robinson cano is only 25 or so, he can turn into a really scary hitter for opposing pitchers in years to come. He can probably get 20 or even 30 home runs a year with more patience. And he needs to walk more.

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Somebody at work yesterday made that same comment to me about how the Yankees "cheat" and buy all their players

I simply followed that up with

"oh really? Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Petitte, Mo, Hughes, Chamberlain, Melky, Shelly Duncan, Joba, Phillips, Karstens, Henn, Rasner, Wang, Cano...all home grown yankee products and plenty of arms on the way"

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Somebody at work yesterday made that same comment to me about how the Yankees "cheat" and buy all their players

I simply followed that up with

"oh really? Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Petitte, Mo, Hughes, Chamberlain, Melky, Shelly Duncan, Joba, Phillips, Karstens, Henn, Rasner, Wang, Cano...all home grown yankee products and plenty of arms on the way"

Bold have just started contributing or done nothing at all. Lets not be naive and act like the Yanks have been producing home grown players left and right. Between the 96 core home grown players and Wang and Cano there was very little to talk about and frankly, Rasner, Karstens, Henn, Phillips and Duncan have done nothing with the exception of a brief HR binge by Shelley. Congrats on Hughes, Melky and Joba but save the rest of those names for now.

The farm is also bare of positional players though probably the best arms wise.

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Bold have just started contributing or done nothing at all. Lets not be naive and act like the Yanks have been producing home grown players left and right. Between the 96 core home grown players and Wang and Cano there was very little to talk about and frankly, Rasner, Karstens, Henn, Phillips and Duncan have done nothing with the exception of a brief HR binge by Shelley. Congrats on Hughes, Melky and Joba but save the rest of those names for now.

The farm is also bare of positional players though probably the best arms wise.

Your point is valid. Many of those guys have not done enough to be considered mainstays. My main point however is that the current roster, in the midst of a playoff run is made up of roughtly 50% home grown talent. It's clear that Chamberlain and Hughes should be stars for years to come. I feel the same way about Melky. I also disagree that he's among those who "just started contributing". He had a very nice full season last year and has been great this year since becoming an every day guy. He won't be great, but he'll be a damn good four tool player.

Henn has been up and down and IMO has shown himself to be a solid major league pitcher despite Torres hesitation to use him. Shelly Duncan? Fair enough. He's only had a few ABs and he's come up big but as I said a few weeks ago, he could easily be another Kevin Maas. Karstens and Rasner? Well they haven't done a whole lot but they were clearly part of the bigger picture early in the season if not for injuries.

I can live with the farm system being low on bats. Pitching is what matters most.

Clearly the "building from within" is something that only started recently after it was abandoned when Steinbrenner came back. It was a core of Yankee draft picks that got them all of their rings and as a fan I'm thrilled to see them getting back to that. Sure, get some free agents to fill some holes like any team should, but keep up with developing the young arms.

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Baseball's worst nightmare

The Yankees with money AND a farm system.

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Bold have just started contributing or done nothing at all. Lets not be naive and act like the Yanks have been producing home grown players left and right. Between the 96 core home grown players and Wang and Cano there was very little to talk about and frankly, Rasner, Karstens, Henn, Phillips and Duncan have done nothing with the exception of a brief HR binge by Shelley. Congrats on Hughes, Melky and Joba but save the rest of those names for now.

The farm is also bare of positional players though probably the best arms wise.

Valid points, but there were guys that aren't all-stars, but contributed to world series wins (like Ricky Ledee) and plenty of guys that were traded off for veteran help during playoff runs.

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(Arizona didn't even ask about Wang or Cano in trade talks for Randy Johnson in 2004)

:) Not according to Barton.

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Bold have just started contributing or done nothing at all. Lets not be naive and act like the Yanks have been producing home grown players left and right. Between the 96 core home grown players and Wang and Cano there was very little to talk about and frankly, Rasner, Karstens, Henn, Phillips and Duncan have done nothing with the exception of a brief HR binge by Shelley. Congrats on Hughes, Melky and Joba but save the rest of those names for now.

The farm is also bare of positional players though probably the best arms wise.

They have hall of famers at a bunch of positions already. Get some arms here and I can live with that. :)

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Any ideas how Cashman can unload Johnny Damon?

Have Cashman create a rogue package that is placed in his locker which contains needles and syringes, with a note from Jason Giambi that says "See you Wednesday".

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Any ideas how Cashman can unload Johnny Damon?

I was wondering the same thing. Damon has been hitting the ball extremely well of late. A strong finish and perhaps a good post season (if the Yanks make it) could make him desirable to a team "on the bubble". Maybe package Moose and Damon, pick up some of their respective salaries and get one or two mid level prospects in return.

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If he can make Randy Johnson go away he can make anyone go away.

Heck he might even get something for Igawa.

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Bold have just started contributing or done nothing at all. Lets not be naive and act like the Yanks have been producing home grown players left and right. Between the 96 core home grown players and Wang and Cano there was very little to talk about and frankly, Rasner, Karstens, Henn, Phillips and Duncan have done nothing with the exception of a brief HR binge by Shelley. Congrats on Hughes, Melky and Joba but save the rest of those names for now.

The farm is also bare of positional players though probably the best arms wise.

Well, let's not be "naive" and act like the Yanks won starting in '96 because of FA signings...yeah, they signed some FA's but most of their success had to do with trades and home grown players...

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I still hate the bums. They tried buying teams for about 6 years now, and it has failed them horribly. Its about time those lousy bums get their act together and go back to what has worked.

The Yankees are a huge joke to anyone outside the city of New York. The team that has the best farm system, not only doesn't want to use it, but they want to use washed up has-been stars that don't give two chits about winning a game, but are more concerned with what kind of limo is taking them to the field.

The Yankees turned me off to the entire sport of baseball with their pathetic attempts to win rings. Get back to what got them one in 96, use the farm system, find the next pettite, jeter, posada, or williams.

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(Arizona didn't even ask about Wang or Cano in trade talks for Randy Johnson in 2004)

:) Not according to Barton.

:confused:

They could have had either one, they were both on a list of players they could have had in the deal, but they took neither, thankfully.

Anyways, the other day I was just thinking about how the Yankees had produced not 1, but 2, hall of fame shortstops in a 10 year span. Derek Jeter of course is 1 of them, drafted in 1992. The other? Alfonso Soriano. Remember, he was a SS at first, then moved to 2B, now to the OF. But if he had put up his insane offensive numbers that he's put up in his career thus far, at the shortstop position he would be well on his way to the Hall of Fame. I thought that was pretty interesting. If he had stayed at 2nd base, he'd be a HOFer too. But now? I dont know, he still has a shot but he'd be a lock if he was still at SS or 2B and contined his play for just 2 or 3 more years.

I wonder how many other teams have produced 2 HOFers in a 10 yr span at the same position.

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The Yanks outbid the everyone to sign Soriano. They didn't discover or produce him.

OK.

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The Yanks outbid the everyone to sign Soriano. They didn't discover or produce him.

Okay, so that's a reason to bash us?

That's like 2 kids arguing on a baseball field

Mets fan "That's not fair that you hit that home run, it's because you bought an actual bat"

yankees fan "Okay, well I had the money to do it, sooooo, I bought it, it's not my fault my mommy and daddy have more money than yours"

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Okay, so that's a reason to bash us?

That's like 2 kids arguing on a baseball field

Mets fan "That's not fair that you hit that home run, it's because you bought an actual bat"

yankees fan "Okay, well I had the money to do it, sooooo, I bought it, it's not my fault my mommy and daddy have more money than yours"

I am not bashing anything. Soriano is a star but the we produced 2 HOF SS is a bit of a stretch.

Yankee fans did more than enough bashing on Sori during the 2003 post season....no?

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I am not bashing anything. Soriano is a star but the we produced 2 HOF SS is a bit of a stretch.

Yankee fans did more than enough bashing on Sori during the 2003 post season....no?

No no, not the Soriano situation, I was speaking on the whole Yankees buy their championships thing.

The Mets are like the guy in high school who is somewhat attractive but can't get any girls, and his brother, the Yankees, gets all of the girls.

The Mets brother says "It's not fair, the girls only like you because of your past and that you have money and a Nice car!!"

The Yankees brother says "Your point is? I'm still the one getting laid at night"

While the Mets brother jerks off lonely in his room

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No no, not the Soriano situation, I was speaking on the whole Yankees buy their championships thing.

I look at it this way, since 2000 when the Yankees were largely a "home grown" team, relatively speaking of course, how many titles have they won importing A-Rod, Giambi, Abreu, Damon, Moose, Sheffield and whomever else qualifies as a mercenary?

None.

Technically you are right.

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:confused:

They could have had either one, they were both on a list of players they could have had in the deal, but they took neither, thankfully.

Anyways, the other day I was just thinking about how the Yankees had produced not 1, but 2, hall of fame shortstops in a 10 year span. Derek Jeter of course is 1 of them, drafted in 1992. The other? Alfonso Soriano. Remember, he was a SS at first, then moved to 2B, now to the OF. But if he had put up his insane offensive numbers that he's put up in his career thus far, at the shortstop position he would be well on his way to the Hall of Fame. I thought that was pretty interesting. If he had stayed at 2nd base, he'd be a HOFer too. But now? I dont know, he still has a shot but he'd be a lock if he was still at SS or 2B and contined his play for just 2 or 3 more years.

I wonder how many other teams have produced 2 HOFers in a 10 yr span at the same position.

I am wondering how Soriano is this lock to make the Hall of Fame.

Where did this come from?

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I wonder how many other teams have produced 2 HOFers in a 10 yr span at the same position.

The Mets did it with Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan at pitcher.

I am sure there are other examples.

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I am wondering how Soriano is this lock to make the Hall of Fame.

Where did this come from?

I told him.

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I am wondering how Soriano is this lock to make the Hall of Fame.

Where did this come from?

Read the post again. I didnt say he was a lock right now. Only he would have been a lock had he stayed at SS or 2B and continued his play for 2 or 3 more years. He moved to OF though, so he's no longer a lock even if he continues his play for 2 or 3 more years.

And the Yankees signed Soriano internationally, so what? He still went up thru the farm system.

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Read the post again. I didnt say he was a lock right now. Only he would have been a lock had he stayed at SS or 2B and continued his play for 2 or 3 more years. He moved to OF though, so he's no longer a lock even if he continues his play for 2 or 3 more years.

And the Yankees signed Soriano internationally, so what? He still went up thru the farm system.

That kinda takes some of the ooomph out of your argument.

There have been any number of players that have switched from shortstop and still made the HOF.

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:confused: stick to 26-2 as bad as that is if the above is the rest of your arsenal.

Before today, he didn't even know who Phil Rizzuto was.

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The Yanks didn't buy any of their Championships from the latest dynasty, they built fro w/in, made great trades and had a few FAs. They have tried to buy Championships in recent years but it hasn't worked. If you are looking for teams that have bought/tried to buy look no further than our 2 jealous rivals. Boston had ONE homegrown regular in te fluke of '04 and the Mets are ateam that is comprised of mostly salary dumps and overpaid FAs w/ a sprinkiling of homegrown guys.

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The Yanks didn't buy any of their Championships from the latest dynasty, they built fro w/in, made great trades and had a few FAs. They have tried to buy Championships in recent years but it hasn't worked. If you are looking for teams that have bought/tried to buy look no further than our 2 jealous rivals. Boston had ONE homegrown regular in te fluke of '04 and the Mets are ateam that is comprised of mostly salary dumps and overpaid FAs w/ a sprinkiling of homegrown guys.

IMO the best examples of buying a ring easilly goes to the Marlins for their first ring. Used dumptruck full of cash to bring in the best players, won a ring, and broke them all up.

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The Yanks didn't buy any of their Championships from the latest dynasty, they built fro w/in, made great trades and had a few FAs. They have tried to buy Championships in recent years but it hasn't worked. If you are looking for teams that have bought/tried to buy look no further than our 2 jealous rivals. Boston had ONE homegrown regular in te fluke of '04 and the Mets are ateam that is comprised of mostly salary dumps and overpaid FAs w/ a sprinkiling of homegrown guys.

Hmmmmm, the Mets have TWO Free Agents in their starting eight. Beltran and Alou.

Nice way to substantiate your point.

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Hmmmmm, the Mets have TWO Free Agents in their starting eight. Beltran and Alou.

Nice way to substantiate your point.

Starting 8 is one thing SD, but let's be fair. Didn't they sign Wagner as a FA and Glavine/Pedro just a year apart? That's their top two starters (when healthy obviously) and their closer. If I recall correctly they also got Delgado in a salary dump. Is it as a FA? No. Is it a whole lot different than a FA? I don't think so. JMO.

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