Oh man where to start.
After a disappointing 2008 try for the aforementioned Yankees, the Steinbrenner family went on a mission. With the Signings of arguably the top three free agents on the market—Mark Teixera, CC Sabathia, and AJ Burnett. The Yankees are once again a favorite in the American League.
The team was able to land these incredible players by letting go of free agents, such as Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi.
Hal Steinbrenner stated that the salary for the 2009 ball club would be considerably lower than the 2008 club. At this point in time, they are hovering over about 20 million less than that salary, with younger and harder working players. The Yankees were able to upgrade their horrendous pitching problems from the 2008 campaign, by adding Burnett and Sabathia.
Part of the pitching problems was a former free agent acquistion—Carl Pavano. In Pavano's stint with the bombers, he did not even play a full season. He was lingered by shoulder issues and recently had tommy john surgery. The big contract load that left with his departure made it even easier for the Yankees to land the new marquee pitchers.
CC Sabathia was the biggest pitcher on the market, with his extraordinary second half performance he had with the Brewers in 2008.
In his half season with the ball club, he had more complete games than the whole Yankees pitching staff. His impressive numbers, which included an earned run average under two, boosted the Brewers into the playoffs.
However, injuries to Ben Sheets and other notable players resulted in a quick exist for Sabathia and the Brewers.
The Yankees' other pitching acquisition, AJ Burnett, is immensely different.
Burnett has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. The pitcher who is already considered a veteran, started his young career with the Florida Marlins. His career with Florida, included a no-hitter in 2001 and World Series ring on the 2003 team.
His last few years were spent with a sub-par Toronto Blue Jays team. Last season, he really came into his own. Posting 18 wins and shutting down a terrific bombers offense.
The last notable acquisition by the bombers was Mark Teixera. Teixera grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and has always had a tough demeanor. Teixera started his career with the Texas Rangers and learned the game from now Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Teixera became a ruthless switch hitting power hitter with decent range at 1B.
The last year and a half he has been playing on an adequate Atlanta Braves club and the star studded Anaheim Angels.
His agent Scott Boras made sure that Teixera would receive the huge pay day he has been waiting for. The Yankees wooed Teixera with a deal that the Angels, Orioles, and Red Sox would not come close to. All of these acquisitions and the rest of the Yankees ball club, want to make sure this is the year the bombers are back in the limelight.