What Happened To All Those Draft Picks? Part FourBy
During the last three days we’ve taken a look at what happened to the draft picks the Yankees forfeited as free agent compensation from 1979 to 1985, 1986 to 1991, 1992 to 2001, and today we’ll wrap up the series by looking at the picks surrendered between 2002 and 2009. Remember to let me know if there’s any missing/incorrect info in any of the posts in this series.
2002 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Jason Giambi, 1B
Forfeited Pick: Joe Blanton, RHP (Athletics)
Fresh off two MVP caliber seasons, Giambi signed the first nine figure contract in Yankees’ history, and promptly slammed 41 homers with a .314-.435-.598 batting line in his maiden season in New York. Overall, he hit .260-.404-.521 with 209 homers in his seven seasons with the Yankees, though his tenure was dogged by steroid revelations and injury. Despite the troubles, Giambi was a fan favorite and extremely productive during his time in the Bronx.
As compensation for losing Giambi, Oakland received the Yanks’ first round pick, selecting University of Kentucky righthander Joe Blanton 24th overall. He spent the first four-plus seasons of his career with the A’s, posting a 4.25 ERA and a 431-202 K/BB ratio in 162 starts and four relief appearances. He was dealt to the Phillies during the 2008 season, and helped them to a World Championship. Against the Yankees in the 2009 World Series, Blanton allowed four runs in six innings in his lone start. For his career, he owns a 63-54 record with a 4.21 ERA and has a deserved reputation as a workhorse starter.
Oakland also received a supplemental first round pick, taking University of Alabama catcher Jeremy Brown 35th overall. Famous for his role in Moneyball, Brown retired after the 2007 season with three hits in eleven career big league plate appearances.
2002 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Steve Karsay, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Tyler Greene, SS (Braves)
In need of a new setup man, the Yanks handed Queens native Steve Karsay a four year, $22.25M contract only to watch him battle injuries for most of his time in pinstripes. He was fantastic in 2002, posting a 3.26 ERA with a 65-30 K/BB ratio in 78 appearances, though he missed all of 2003 and made just 13 more appearances for the Yanks before being released early in the 2005 season.
The Braves landed Florida high shortstop Tyler Greene with the 65th overall pick, formerly the Yanks’ second rounder. He did not sign with Atlanta, and later became the 30th overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Cardinals after a high profile career at Georgia Tech. Greene made his big league debut with St. Louis in 2009, hitting .222-.270-.324 in 116 plate appearances. With the supplemental first round pick they received as compensation for losing Karsay, Atlanta took James Madison lefty Dan Meyer. Perhaps most well known for being the centerpiece of the Tim Hudson trade, Meyer owns a career 5.09 ERA in seven starts and 83 relief appearances, though he came into his own last season with Florida.
2002 Third Round Pick
Free Agent: Rondell White, OF
Forfeited Pick: Matt Craig, SS (Cubs)
White disappointed in his lone season with the Yanks, hitting .240-.288-.378 after posting a .307-.371-.529 batting line with the Cubs a year earlier. He was traded to San Diego after the season for two minor leaguers. With the compensation pick they received, Chicago took University of Richmond shortstop Matt Craig 96th overall. A career minor leaguer, Craig has hit .282-.364-.459 in the Cubs’ and Marlins’ systems, spending parts of the last three seasons in Triple-A without reaching the big leagues.
The Cubs also received a supplemental first rounder, taking Purdue righty Chadd Blasko 36th overall. Blasko’s career was derailed by major arm injuries, and he was out of the game by 2008 after posting a 3.69 ERA and a 238-99 K/BB ratio in 41 starts and 17 relief appearances.
2004 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Paul Quantrill, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Blake DeWitt, IF (Dodgers)
In what had become an annual bullpen makeover, the workhorse Quantrill stabilized the middle innings for about half a season before the wheels fell off. All told, he posted a 5.23 ERA and a 48-27 K/BB ratio in 108 relief appearances (including a league high 86 in 2004) with the Yanks before being dealt to the Padres for Tim Redding and Darrell May.
The Dodgers received the 28th overall pick for their loss, and used it on Missouri high school infielder Blake DeWitt. A career .257-.333-.384 hitter in the big leagues, DeWitt played almost every day for the Dodgers in 2008, and remains one of their better young players. He’ll again compete for a job during Spring Training in a few months. With the supplemental first rounder, LA took Virginia Commonwealth righty Justin Orenduff 33rd overall. Once one of the Dodgers’ better pitching prospects, Orenduff’s career was derailed by injuries last year. He has posted a 4.44 ERA and a 486-219 K/BB ratio in 89 starts and 33 relief appearances, getting as high as Triple-A.
2004 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Tom Gordon, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Ray Liotta, LHP (White Sox)
The second piece of their shiny new bullpen, Gordon was outstanding for two years with the Yanks, posting a 2.38 ERA and a 165-52 K/BB ratio in 159 appearances over two years as Mariano Rivera’s setup man. The Yanks sent their second rounder to the White Sox, who took Gulf Coast Community College lefty and Goodfellas star Ray Liotta 69th overall. Liotta has posted a 3.55 ERA and a 364-187 K/BB ratio in 86 career starts and 21 relief appearances, topping out at Triple-A. He’s spent the last two seasons in the Royals’ system.
The White Sox also received a supplemental first rounder, using it to take Florida high school lefty Gio Gonzalez 38th overall. Traded three times before his 23rd birthday, Gonzalez has a 6.24 ERA in 24 big league starts (and six relief appearances), though he was solid for Oakland in the second half last year. He’ll compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training next year.
2005 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Carl Pavano, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Jacob Marceaux, RHP (Marlins)
As you have seen throughout this series, there have been several notable free agent busts in Yankees’ history, however none can quite match the comical tenure of Pavano. With a four year, $39.95M contract in hand, Pavano made just 26 starts in pinstripes, posting a 5-flat ERA. He missed time with everything from Tommy John surgery to a sore buttocks, and fled town with his tail between his legs after the 2008 season.
Florida received the 29th overall pick for losing Pavano, and used it to take McNeese State righty Jacob Marceaux 29th overall. Injuries have forced Marceaux to the bullpen, and they continue to stall his career. He has a 5.24 ERA in 37 starts and 76 relief appearances, though he made just one appearance (two outs, two runs) with the White Sox organization in 2009 after the Marlins cut him loose. Louisiana high school lefty Sean West (44th overall) became Florida’s supplemental first rounder, and despite missing all of 2007 due to shoulder surgery, he reached the big leagues in 2009 and posted a 4.79 ERA with a 70-44 K/BB ratio in 20 starts. He’ll compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training.
2005 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Jaret Wright, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Jeff Lyman, RHP (Braves)
Despite red flags during his physical, the Yanks signed Wright for three years and $21M only to watch him miss significant time with injury before being dumped on Baltimore in exchange for RAB fave Chris Britton. In 40 starts and three relief appearances with the Yanks, Wright posted a 4.99 ERA and a 118-89 K/BB ratio. Atlanta received the Yanks’ second round pick as compensation, and took California high school righthander Jeff Lyman 77th overall. Lyman has steadily climbed the ladder with the Braves, posting a 4.47 ERA and a 383-215 K/BB ratio in 67 starts and 64 relief appearances, though he’s no longer considered much of a prospect.
Atlanta turned their supplemental first rounder (41st overall) into Louisiana high school lefty Beau Jones, who they later shipped to Texas in the Mark Teixeira trade. Since being moved to the bullpen, Jones has posted a 4.27 ERA and a 363-199 K/BB ratio in 40 career starts and 99 relief appearances.
2006 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Johnny Damon, OF
Forfeited Pick: Dan Bard, RHP (Red Sox)
Signed away from the rival Red Sox, Damon’s four years in pinstripes were immensely productive. He posted a .285-.363-.458 batting line with 77 homers, not to mention major heroics in the team’s run to the 2009 World Championship. Boston received New York’s first round pick as compensation, which they used to take University of North Carolina righty Dan Bard 28th overall. After struggling mightily as a starter in the minors, Bard moved to the bullpen and shot to the majors, posting a 3.65 ERA with a 63-22 K/BB ratio in 49 games during his rookie campaign in 2009.
The Red Sox used the supplemental first rounder (40th overall) on Wichita State lefty Kris Johnson. Johnson has steadily climbed the ladder, though he took a major step backwards in 2009 by posting a 6.35 ERA. For his career, he’s put up a 4.80 ERA and a 312-169 K/BB ratio in 92 starts and a single relief appearance.
2006 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Kyle Farnsworth, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Robert Fontaine, SS (Braves)
The latest big money reliever import, Farnsworth predictably disappointed in his two-plus years in the Bronx. He posted a 4.33 ERA with a 166-72 K/BB ratio in 181 relief appearances before being jettisoned off to Detroit for Pudge Rodriguez. With the compensation pick they received for losing Farnsworth, the Braves selected Daytona Beach College shortstop Robert Fontaine 72nd overall. Fontaine has hit .272-.376-.375 in his four year minor league career, and he has yet to make it out of A-ball.
With the supplemental first rounder, Atlanta selected Alabama high school righty Cory Rasmus, the older brother of Cardinals’ outfielder Colby. Rasmus has yet to make it out of rookie ball, posting a 3.76 ERA and a 69-32 K/BB ratio in just 8 starts and 12 relief appearances.
2009 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Mark Teixeira, 1B
Forfeited Pick: Mike Trout, OF (Angels)
In his first year with New York, Teixeira was pretty much everything the team could have hoped for. He hit .292-.383-.565 while leading the league in homers, runs batted in, and total bases. The Yanks’ first round pick went to the Angels, who took New Jersey high school outfielder Mike Trout 25th overall. Trout hit .352-.419-.486 between two levels after signing, and is arguably the team’s best prospect. With the supplemental first rounder, the Halos grabbed lefty Tyler Skaggs out of a California high school. He posted a 1.80 ERA in ten rookie ball innings after signing.
2009 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: CC Sabathia, LHP
Forfeited Pick: Max Walla, C (Brewers)
Like Teixeira, Sabathia was everything the team hoped for and then some in his first year in pinstripes. He led the league with 19 wins and posted a 3.37 ERA, then dominated on the team’s run to the World Championship. Milwaukee received the 73rd overall pick as compensation for losing Sabathia, and took New Mexico high school backstop Max Walla. Walla hit just .201-.282-.278 after signing, and is not among the team’s ten best prospects according to Baseball America.
The Brewers selected University of Tennessee outfielder Kentrail Davis 39th overall with the supplemental first round pick, though he signed late and did not play in 2010. Baseball America considers him the team’s sixth best prospect.
2009 Third Round Pick
Free Agent: A.J. Burnett, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Jake Marisnick (Blue Jays)
After a strong 2008 season, Burnett was solid for the Yanks last year, posting a 4.04 ERA in 33 starts. He also won what was arguably the biggest game of the year, outpitching Pedro Martinez in Game Two of the World Series. Toronto only received a third round pick as compensation, which they used to take California high school outfielder Jake Marisnick 104th overall. Like Davis, Marisnick signed late and didn’t appear in a game last season, though he’s considered one of the team’s better prospects.
The Blue Jays also grabbed University of Kentucky southpaw James Paxton with the supplemental first round pick (37th overall), though he did not sign and is expected to be a high pick again in 2010.
Baseball-Reference.com’s Amateur Draft Database was an invaluable reference tool for this series.