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Sunday September 27, 2009 9:09 pm

The Yankees’ Homegrown Solutions to Expensive Problems




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB

Robinson Cano

There is a perception that the New York Yankees’ success is the direct result of a $200+ million payroll year after year. It seems that each offseason, the Yankees will just go out and fill their holes with cash, which was highlighted this past offseason with the acquisitions of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira.  However, if you look a little deeper, you’ll see that the Yankees also have a healthy mix of homegrown talent on the field day after day.

There’s the obvious “face of the franchise” in Derek Jeter, whose Hall of Fame bat and classy off-the-field demeanor is famous nationwide; and there’s the scariest closer in baseball in Mariano Rivera, who can make even the most dangerous batters look like A-ball rookies in the box. But the Yankee scouts have been hard at work for the last few years, trying to find cheaper solutions to the on-field problems.  Let’s face it, while the Yankee ownership doesn’t have trouble with the stratospheric payroll, why wouldn’t they want to cut back some costs if there are cheaper options available?

Thus the repairs began. Phil Hughes has been turned into one of the best relievers in the game. The Joba Chamberlain Experiment could be going better, but the fan interest that has been generated has been nothing short of incredible. Hideki Matsui was brought in from Japan, and Godzilla has been sending bombs over fences since landing in the Western Hemisphere.  Melky Cabrera, Shelly Duncan, and Brett Gardner have all been productive members of the outfield in various capacities. Not one of these players has played a game in the Majors without wearing the intertwined “NY” on their ball cap. But perhaps the most interesting of these is Robinson Cano.

The man named after the legendary Jackie Robinson arrived in New York in 2005, and has lit up pitchers since day one. He was voted to the 2006 All-Star Game and eventually won the Silver Slugger Award as a second baseman that year. 2009 has been a career year for him. He’ll finish with over 200 hits, with something around 50 doubles and 25 home runs, with close to 90 RBI. And he’s the overlooked man when it comes to the production of this year’s Yankees lineup. He’s batting over .300 for his career, and at only 26 years old, he’s going to have years and years to give fans nationwide a chance to see that Jeter and Rivera are not the only homegrown talents in New York worth mentioning.

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