It’s hard not to hate the New York Yankees.
With 27 World Series titles and the ability to sign any top-notch player of their choice, the New York Yankees is a team everybody loves to hate.
Having the highest payroll in baseball of $196,854,630, it is no wonder why the Yankees have been so victorious in the past. Known for pulling out their checkbooks and offering players their desired amount, the Yankees make sure that the most prominent and skilled players in the league are apart of their team.
However, General Manager Brian Cashman took a different approach this season, proving he might actually be a solid General Manager.
Cashman signed talented, yet low key players such as Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Each of these players has adapted well to their new team, proving that you don’t have to write big checks, to get big results.
Thankfully, their fears were put to rest as the season progressed.
Bartolo Colon ($900,000) was thought to be done as a pitcher, after ending his 2009 season with a 4.19 ERA and taking the 2010 season off. However, he is now healthy and has made a surprising come back.
In 18 innings, Colon participated in four games and saved one. He allowed 16 hits, eight runs, two home runs and has an ERA of 3.50. Colon is a promising starter in replacement of Phil Hughes who is currently out of the rotation due to a dead arm.
Colon showed the most promise against Toronto on April 20th. The veteran allowed five hits and only gave up two runs as he worked his way into the seventh.
In Andruw Jones’s first at bat on the Yankees he blasted a home run off of Brian Duensing of the Minnesota Twins. This is one out of the many contributions for the center fielder who earns a $1,500,000 salary.
Recording a .250 batting average in six games this season, Andruw Jones is an ideal replacement on the plate when needed. Right now Brett Gardner is in an unfortunate hitting slump, posting a .140 batting average. Although Girardi has no intention of benching the left fielder as of yet, Jones’s performance this season makes him a reliable candidate for Gardner if needed.
Freddy Garcia is a prime example of how the Yankees don’t need to spend over ten million dollars to ensure a reliable and clutch pitcher. With a salary of $1,500,000, Garcia is all of these things and more.
The veteran, who has 13 years of experience, has pitched in 13 innings this season with a 0.69 ERA, allowing only five hits and one run.
In the Yankees 6-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, Garcia was in a jam during the second inning, giving up a single and a walk with only one out. He thankfully found his way out as he struck out Cesar Izturis. After this it was smooth sailing for the pitcher who allowed only one single in the fourth.
Receiving a $1,500,000 salary, Chavez maintains an outstanding .389 batting average. In eight games Chavez has seven hits, two doubles and three RBI.
It is not an easy task to replace Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, however, Chavez has accomplished this feat.
In his third start of the season on April 17th against the Texas Rangers, Chavez replaced Rodriguez who was taken out due to an injury. In his place, Chavez was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
With 14 years of experience, Chavez is a veteran player who when needed, will perform to his full potential.
Number 12 on the Yankee payroll with a salary of $4,000,000 is Russell Martin who maintains a .328 batting average for the 2011 season.
Martin has been a major contribution to the Yankees so far. In a recent game against Baltimore where the Yankees killed the team 15-3, Martin homered twice, launching a three-run home run and a solo. In 16 games Martin has six home runs, scored 12 runs and hit three doubles. His successful performance as a catcher so far proves that he is a promising successor to Jorge Posada’s former position.
It is ironic how a player who gets paid less than Mark Teixeira ($23,125,000) and Derek Jeter ($14,729,365), two of the highest paid and most prominent players on the team, has one of the highest batting averages for the 2011 season.
Further proving how Cashman does not need to pay over 100 million dollars to sign key assets to the franchise.