Brian Cashman said he did not want to give up the Yankees’ 31st pick in the amateur draft to sign free agent pitcher Rafael Soriano.
The 31st pick has yielded one super star--pitcher Greg Maddux in 1982.
Beyond that, the Yankees have not necessarily relied on home grown talent in the free agent era. They buy what they need.
Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Bret Gardner are the only players originally drafted by the Yankees in the projected 2011 starting lineup. In the case of Jeter and Robinson, there’s an asterisk of sorts.
Jeter should have been taken by the Astros in 1992. Houston scout Hal Newhouser
placed his job on the line by advocating Jeter and when the Astros selected Phil Nevin instead, Newhauser quit. The Yankees then swooped in and took Jeter as the sixth pick.
With Cano, the Yankees had the good sense to draft him, but were willing to give him up as the one of the players in the deal with Texas for Alex Rodriguez. Texas took Joaquin Arias instead.
Looking at the rest of the lineup, first baseman Mark Teixeira was a free agent, Curtis Granderson arrived from Detroit in a trade, Nick Swisher was obtained from the White Sox.
In the starting rotation, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett were free agent signings. Phil Hughes was a compensation draft choice, obtained from the Astros when Andy Pettitte signed with Houston in 2004.
Pettitte was originally drafted by the Yankees. Starting candidate Ivan Nova was an undrafted free agent signed by the Yankees and Sergio Mitre was drafted by the Cubs.
Mariano Rivera, the most prominent reliever in the game, was drafted by the Yankees.