What Happened To All Those Draft Picks? Part Four


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.’s Amateur Draft Database was an invaluable reference tool for this series.

Categories : Analysis
  • Raf

    man you easily forget how good Tom Gordon was in his time in pinstripes.

    • Geg

      He cost them a title with his choke in 04.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        He did?

        Are you talking about the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox? The one where Mariano Rivera blew a save in the possible clinching Game 4?

        Yeah… not good times.

        Did Gordon choke? Sure, probably. Did he “cost them a title”? No, the entire team did that, even the all-time great players like Mo Rivera.

        • Evil Empire


          Not that I disagree.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            I wanted to go for the maximum effect.

            • Evil Empire

              Mo is a humble deity/supreme being. Ironically enough, he’d be one of the few Yankee fans who would probably agree with us.

    • Tom Zig

      Probably because of his 8.10 ERA in the 2004 ALCS (blame Torre)

    • Jake H

      He was dominating, just a bad ALCS. Torre’s fault mostly.

      • Geg

        Great reg season. Alcs? If he’s the same guy they win the title.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Alcs? If he’s the same guy they win the title.

          Gordon, Games 1-3, 2004 ALCS:
          12 batters faced, 7 outs recorded, 2 runs charged to, 7.71 ERA, 1.167 WHIP allowed. Yankees win all three games.

          Gordon, Game 4, 2004 ALCS:
          7 batters faced, 6 outs recorded, 0 runs charged to, 0.00 ERA, 0.500 WHIP allowed. Yankees lose chance to clinch on Mariano Rivera blown save and Paul Quantrill homer allowed.

          Did Gordon pitch poorly in the ALCS? Yes. Could they have won the ALCS despite Gordon pitching poorly? Yes.

          • Tom Zig

            The devil is in the details

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            Didn’t we all agree it was A-Rod’s fault? Why are we even bringing up these other possible ways that the Yankees could have won. A-Rod choked it away.

            • http://WayneD WayneD

              Jesus, don’t start that stupid anti-A-Rod crap again! The entire team, including Torre, lost that Boston series.

              A-Rod had 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, and hit .258 in that series, so A-Rod did not loose that series. And by the way, he hit .421 in the first round of the playoffs that year to help us get to round two.

              The ENTIRE TEAM lost that 2004 series, including two of the greatest Yankees of all time: Jeter and Mo. (By the way, Jeter hit .200 in that series, so smart move blaming it on A-Rod!)

              Fans forget that these guys are only human: they ALL FAIL SOMETIMES . . . even the great Babe Ruth, who hit about .180 in his first WS, which the Yankees lost. So I guess you would say Ruth was a choker, right?

              A-Rod supplied Yankee fans with one of the greatest playoff performances in baseball history this year, and you want to start throwing mud at him again! We wouldn’t have made it out of the first or second round this year without A-Rod.

              We need A-Rod to have ANY chance to repeat, and you’re knocking the man (yet again!) after he saved our season this year and transformed a floundering team into a World Series champion!

              And one last thing for any anti-A-Rod people to consider: How many HRs did Willie Mays have in his 89 playoff and WS at bats?

              Answer: 1 (one!) And his BA was a robust .247.

              Did Mays suck? No! So don’t be so quick to throw mud at a man who did something truely exceptional this year under immense pressure, something you or I could never do on a baseball field!

          • mike

            the issue is Gordon pitching in Game 3, when the game was never in doubt – one less bullet in his gun for later in the series

        • Chris

          You could say the same thing about Jeter.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Agreed. Also:

            Kevin Brown, 2004 regular season: 22 starts, 132 IP (6.0 IP/S), 4.09 ERA, 1.269 WHIP.

            Kevin Brown, 2004 ALCS: 2 starts, 3.1 IP (1.55 IP/S), 21.60 ERA, 3.900 WHIP

            • Tom Zig

              must have been off the juice

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                What makes it all the more perplexing is he threw 6 sparkling innings the week before against the Twins in the ALDS.


                He probably just wasn’t fully healthy after that broken hand in September. It was a perfect storm: Brown’s injury/ineffectiveness, Javier Vazquez’s slump, Weaver’s general suckitude… we were short on pitching, and our offense just all slumped for 4 games at the same time.

                • mark the spark


                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Umm… I am.

                  I’m not the one that brought it up. It’s called “a conversation”.

  • Andrew

    It’d be interesting to see how the Yankees picks came out for free agents they lost, like getting IPK and Joba after losing Tom Gordon.

    • Doug

      I agree with this.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    2004 Second Round Pick
    Free Agent: Tom Gordon, RHP
    Forfeited Pick: Ray Liotta, LHP (White Sox)

    “As far back as I could remember, I always wanted to be a White Sock.”
    (cue music)
    dun-DA-DA, dun-DA-dun-DA-DA, DA!
    dun-DA-DA, dun-DA-dun-DA-DA, DA!

    • Evil Empire


      On a tangential note, when referring to a singular member of the CHW / BoSox, I always wondered whether you referred to them as a “sock” or a “sox”?

      Sock does makes more sense.

      • Brendan

        As a former MLB copy monkey I can tell you that “Sox” is the standard singular and plural but whenever possible the singular is to be avoided or modified.

  • MJ

    Jason Giambi a ‘fan favorite?’ I didn’t see it that way.

    • Thomas
      • MJ

        I could find a picture of 3 fans that liked Kei Igawa or any player.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          FACT: Pounding the Jack and rocking the gold lamé makes you a fan favorite. FACT.

          • jsbrendog

            and mustache

        • DP

          Right, because only 3 people in Yankee Stadium that whole year wore those fake mustaches.

        • Zack

          “I could find a picture of 3 fans that liked Kei Igawa”

          No you couldnt.

    • andrew

      Most people did though…

  • Jake H

    It realy is hit or miss with draft picks. Also remember that most of the picks are at the back end of the first round.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    2006 First Round Pick
    Free Agent: Johnny Damon, OF
    Forfeited Pick: Dan Bard, RHP (Red Sox)

    Bard has no idea where the ball is going.

    An 7 ERA??? More walks than Ks??? Two baserunners an inning???

    That guy is a bust. The Sox were idiots for drafting him. he’ll never pitch in the majors.

    The only thing dumber than that would be trading for a guy like Nick Swisher, who does nothing but strikeout.

    SalBoGrantLanny, 2008

    • Jake H

      What is crazy is that the Yankees drafted Bard out of HS but couldn’t get him away from UNC.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        True. I’m not shedding tears over it, though; Bard’s a decent relief prospect but that limited ceiling means we were probably right for not going apeshit to buy him out of his college commitment.

        • Ganzi

          Bard stinks. I’ll take Damon thanx

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Agreed (partially), but… that’s not at all what we’re talking about.

        • Steve H


          Brackman’s upside>>>>>>>>>Bard’s upside

          By. A. Mile.

        • pat

          Well too bad he didn’t sigh with the Yankees, he could have spent 4 years being made to throw curves and changeups he might still be a starter. Oh well.

    • Bo

      You enjoying that Brackman River Dog jersey, Eric???

      Because he ain’t getting a real one.

      But hey you will always have “potential”.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        My point


        your head (as usual)

  • Evil Empire

    Hey! The HIV advert is back on RAB! Epzicom. Good times.

  • Stryker

    i haven’t been keeping up with the comments of this series, but i’d like to see a kind of overall analysis on whether or not this negative “willing to spend rather than develop” mantra surrounding the yankees has worked out in their favor or not. from reading these posts, it seems not many of the forfeited picks have turned into great major leaguers.

    • DP

      Among many reasons why X and Y aren’t connected, the Yankees could have/would have drafted different people.

      • Steve in PDX

        Agreed. I would rather see who was left at that pick that have gone on to be solid prospects.

  • battlekow

    Max Walla’s an outfielder, not a catcher; you’re thinking of Cameron Garfield, the Brewers’ other second-round pick.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      battlekow: 1
      Axisa: 0

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    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.

    And pretty much every mock draft (which is utterly worthless at this point, I know, I know) has Paxton going in the top 15 picks next June.

    Giving assloads of money to Alex Rios and Vernon Wells but not an extra 1-2M to James Paxton:


    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Playing for Kentucky, Paxton must have picked up some good old fashioned American values. He sure has hell don’t want to play for no damn canucks!

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor

        Better squirrel-eating, Wal-Mart shopping, and skeet-shooting opportunities here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

  • Evil Empire

    Speaking of players that have been in the Yankees’ farm system and other stuff that would keep what I am about to say relevant to this thread, ESPN is finally reporting that the Yankees are speaking to Nick Johnson. Its on their front page, actually (slow news day for sure besides Henry’s untimely passing).

    I continue to hope this will happen.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor

      Very thin ice…

  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    It seems that, to this point, obviously the recent draft picks haven’t had a chance, of all the forfeited picks, only Brian Jordan, Jon Lieber, and Joe Blanton have gone on to successful and long careers.

    • A.D.

      Yup all in all no big direct missed opportunities.

      Just shows how many 1st rounders don’t pan out.

      • Bo

        The draft is hit and miss. That is why you always sign premium talent at the expense of a pick.

        And teams like the Yankees can always get 1st rd talent later on by paying over slot.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor

      Right but you can’t look at it in a vacuum. You have to look at who was available. There’s no reason to believe the Yankees would have chosen most of the players taken as compensation. Sure, the ones they’d have chosen likely wouldn’t have panned out, but who’s to say the Yankees don’t pick Huston Street, (gulp) Dustin Pedroia, Hunter Pence in 2004?

      Just sayin’.