During the last two days we’ve taken a look at what happened to the draft picks the Yankees forfeited as free agent compensation from 1979 to 1985 and 1986 to 1991, and today we’ll continue the series by looking at the picks surrendered between 1992 and 2001. Remember to let me know if there’s any missing/incorrect info in any of the posts in this series.
1992 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Danny Tartabull, OF
Forfeited Pick: Jon Lieber, RHP (Royals)
Coming into New York with a .287-.372-.514 career batting line, Tartabull’s power took a slight dip in pinstripes, though he hit .252-.372-.473 in three-and-a-half years with the Yanks before being traded to Oakland in 1995. As compensation for losing Tartabull, the Royals received the 44th overall pick in the draft, and used it to take University of South Alabama righty Jon Lieber.
Lieber reached the big leagues less than two years after being drafted, and carved out a 14 season career as a league average (or slightly better) starter. A 20 game winner with the Cubs in 2001, he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting and made the All Star Team. The Yankees signed Lieber as a free agent coming off Tommy John surgery in 2003, and watched him put up a 4.33 ERA with a 102-18 K/BB ratio in 27 starts. In the only three playoff starts of his career, Lieber posted a a 3.43 ERA for the Yanks in 2004. He last appeared in a big league game in 2008, and retired with a 103 ERA+.
Kansas City also received a supplemental first round pick, taking Purdue righty Sherard Clinkscales 31st overall. He was out of baseball by 1995, having put up a 6.36 ERA and a 131-152 K/BB ratio in 140 minor league innings, none above A-ball.
1992 Third Round Pick
Free Agent: Mike Gallego, IF
Forfeited Pick: Gabe Alvarez, SS (Athletics)
Fresh off a breakout year with Oakland, the Yanks gobbled up Gallego to solidify the middle infield. He enjoyed the best stretch of his career in pinstripes, hitting .262-.347-.383 with 19 homers in three seasons before leaving as a free agent prior to the 1996 season. The Athletics received New York’s third round as compensation for losing Gallego, which they used to take California high school shortstop Gabe Alvarez 76th overall. Alvarez did not sign with the A’s, and was drafted out of USC by the Padres in the second round of the 1996 draft. He went on to hit .222-.289-.357 in 92 big league games with the Tigers and Padres.
1993 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Spike Owen, SS
Forfeited Pick: Martin Mainville, RHP (Expos)
A slap hitting shortstop, Owen came to the Yankees near the end of his career as a full-time player. He hit just .234-.294-.311 in his lone season in the Bronx before being traded to the Angels for a minor leaguer in the offseason. The Expos took home the 55th overall pick in exchange for losing their shortstop, grabbing Canadian high school righthander Martin Mainville. He lasted just two years in the minors, though they were two very good years: career 3.06 ERA and 91-21 K/BB ratio in 19 games (18 starts) covering 109 IP.
With the supplemental first rounder, Montreal took Josue Estrada, a high school outfielder from Puerto Rico. He was out of affiliated baseball by 1996 thanks to a .224-.283-.298 batting line in A-ball.
1993 Third Round Pick
Free Agent: Jimmy Key, LHP
Forfeited Pick: Mike Romano, LHP (Blue Jays)
A long time Blue Jay, Key came to New York and became a stalwart starter for four years, posting a 3.68 ERA in 94 starts. He started – and won – Game Six of the 1996 World Series, clinching the Yankees’ first World Championship since 1978. Toronto received the 85th overall pick as compensation for losing Key, taking Tulane righty Mike Romano. He spent seven years in the minors before debuting with the Jays, although his big league career consists of an 11.81 ERA in 5.1 IP over three relief appearances.
Toronto also received a supplemental first round pick, which they used to take Brevard Community College’s Mark Lukasiewicz. The lefty spent the vast majority of his career in the minors, though he made 41 relief appearances in two seasons with the Angels, posting a 5.20 ERA with a 40-18 K/BB ratio.
1996 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Kenny Rogers, LHP
Forfeited Pick: Sam Marsonek, RHP (Rangers)
Rogers was part of the same World Championship team as Key, however his stay in New York was much more forgettable. He had a 5.11 ERA and a 170-145 K/BB ratio in 52 starts and nine relief appearances before being traded to Oakland for Scott Brosius prior to the 1998 season. The Yanks forfeited the 24th overall pick to Texas for signing Rogers, and watched as they took Florida high school righty Sam Marsonek. A career minor leaguer, Marsonek was traded to the Yankees as part of the package for Chad Curtis prior to the 2000 season. His lone big league appearance came in pinstripes, when he allowed two hits while recording four outs against the Devil Rays on a Sunday afternoon in July 2004.
With the supplemental first rounder they received, Texas drafted North Carolina State lefty Corey Lee. Like Marsonek, Lee made one career appearance in the big leagues, giving up three runs while recording as many outs.
1997 First Round Pick
Free Agent: David Wells, LHP
Forfeited Pick: Darnell McDonald, OF (Orioles)
When Jimmy Key bolted for the Orioles after the 1997 season, the Yanks reacted by bringing in O’s hurler David Wells. Boomer made 62 starts during his first stint in the Bronx, pitching to a 3.85 ERA and 319-74 K/BB ratio while receiving Cy Young consideration and an All Star Game berth in 1998. On May 17th of that season, Wells retired all 27 Twins batters he faced for the 15th perfect game in baseball history. He was later traded to Toronto as part of the package for two time defending Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens.
Baltimore received the Yanks’ first round pick as compensation for losing the surly lefthander, taking Colorado high school outfielder Darnell McDonald 24th overall. Yet another career minor leaguer, McDonald played for the O’s, Twins, and Reds during his career, hitting .231-.276-.333 in 156 plate appearances. With Cincinnati in 2009, he hit .267-.306-.400 in 111 plate appearances as a reserve outfielder. The Reds took Canadian high school outfielder Ntema Ndungidi 36th overall with the supplemental first rounder, and he hit .240-.354-.362 in seven year minor league career, topping out in Double-A.
1997 Second Round Pick
Free Agent: Mike Stanton, LHP
Forfeited Pick: Chris Tynan, RHP (Rangers)
The other lefty pitcher signed prior to the 1997 season, Stanton became a bullpen fixture for much of The Joe Torre Era. During his first tenure in pinstripes, Stanton posted a 3.67 ERA and a 395-159 K/BB ratio in 428 relief appearances, and was a part of three World Championship clubs. He ranks fourth all-time on the team’s career appearances list.
With the 77th overall pick that they received as compensation for losing Stanton, Texas selected righty Chris Tynan out of a Washington high school. Tynan was out of baseball by 2000 after posting a 5.11 ERA and a 231-135 K/BB ratio in 52 career starts (and one relief appearance), none above A-ball. The Rangers also received a supplemental first rounder, which they used to take Florida high school third baseman Jason Romano. He managed to appear in 129 big league games for the Rangers, Rockies, Devil Rays, and Reds during a four year big league, hitting .204-.257-.277.
2001 First Round Pick
Free Agent: Mike Mussina, RHP
Forfeited Pick: Mike Fontenot, 2B (Orioles)
Already boasting a World Championship caliber rotation, the Yankees spent $88.5M over six years to add Orioles’ ace Mike Mussina to the mix. Moose won 123 games in eight years with the Yankees, posting a 3.88 ERA and a 1,278-318 K/BB ratio in nearly 250 games pitched. In 15 postseason starts (and two relief appearances), he put up a 3.80 ERA, including an even 3.00 in three World Series appearances. Mussina is arguably the best big money, long-term free agent pitching signing in baseball history.
As compensation for losing their ace, Baltimore received the 19th overall pick, taking infielder Mike Fontenot out of Louisiana State University. One of the minor leaguers sent to the Cubs in the ill-advised Sammy Sosa trade prior to the 2005 season, Fontenot has been a platoon player in his three full seasons in the majors. He’s a career .266-.339-.422 hitter while playing mostly second base. In a career best 419 plate appearances in 2009, he hit .236-.301-.377.
Baltimore also took home a supplemental first round pick, which they used to grab Florida high school shortstop Bryan Bass. He hit .228-.317-.363 in a seven year minor league career, topping out at Double-A.
Baseball-Reference.com’s Amateur Draft Database was an invaluable reference tool for this series.