Yankees rank second in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings


In an Insider-only feature (1-15, 16-30), ESPN ranked all 30 clubs using what they call “an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years.” The rankings are based on five categories — Major League talent, minor league talent, finances, front office, and roster flexibility.

The Rangers claim the top spot with a score of 88.7 (out of 100) and the Yankees were second at 79.6. Pretty big gap there. The Cardinals were right there in third at 79.5, so we might as well call New York and St. Louis numbers 2A and 2B. The write-up includes all the usual storylines — the Yankees have an older core, a huge payroll, and just about all of their young pitchers took a step back this season — and notes that the Bombers also ranked second behind Texas in their preseason rankings. I missed those, apparently.

Categories : Asides


  1. Gonzo says:

    Hard not to put the Rangers first.

    • Laz says:

      For sure, Metroplex is 4th largest metro, and biggest without 2 teams, so they can get any free agent they want. They also have a much better farm system. It should get tougher on them once they stop getting the top draft picks.

  2. Smart Guy says:

    the yankees have the financial muscle, they have an ok minor system that has taken a hit by down years and injuries but they have no flexibility at all in the big club, they are tied up to so many long term contracts that if you add granderson and cano to that list we will be forced to play older guys for the sake of their contracts and be able to only add young blood players to C – RF and LF

    • AnthonyD says:

      The inter-relationships or lack there of in these rankings b/w and amongst categories renders some of them useless. For example yeah the Yankees have a lot of expensive long contracts – esp A Rod, MT and CC. That being said, they will outspend everyone so is that factored into the immovability? A Rod will make roughly 20mm at the end of his deal and let’s say he literally can’t play – if that $189mm is real they would have a payroll of $169 which would still be as much, if not more than nearly everyone else.

      • jjyank says:

        That’s an interesting way of looking at it.

      • RetroRob says:

        I’m sure it renders it useless at all. That’s why the Yankees are ranked at the top, right behind the Rangers. The grading system puts more weight in other categories. The Yankees strength in finances and management is more important than other categories.

  3. AnthonyD says:

    These ESPN columns are always entertaining. They use a “scientific”, albeit extremely arbitrary weighting system to give points to various categories – most if not all of which are extremely if not entirely subjective. Fun to read nonetheless.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

      Exactly. It’s discussion fodder.

      That being said, I’ll take #2 on their little list.

    • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

      I’m with you. I’m beginning to believe their ‘scientific’ process is just some guy with an excel spreadsheet wiping Cheetos on his shirt somewhere in a Bristol mail room.

    • jjyank says:

      Definitely. Makes for a fun conversation starter, but that’s all it really is.

  4. TheOneWhoKnocks says:

    Rangers farm system has us beat no doubt, but I like our chances against their current roster.
    Prospects are prospects. Leonys Martin and Martin Perez were much hyped and both guys have struggled, that’s just the nature of the beast, most prospects will flop. For them and for us.
    Yanks with their resources will find a way to keep retooling and stay competitive every year.
    With CC and Pineda at the top of next years rotation I think we have the front end SP punch the rangers lack

  5. Eddard says:

    The last starting pitcher the Yanks developed into an ace and had a long lasting career was Andy Pettitte.

    CMW- still rehabbing.
    Joba- Ruined his arm, TJS, reliever and not an effective one right now.
    Hughes- Not an ace, can’t finish off hitters, gives up too many XBHs.
    IPK- Traded away, regressed this season.
    Nova- Regressed this season, no command, gives up too many XBHs.

    David Phelps is next up. We’ll see how he does as a starter but I have no confidence in these guys to develop any starter so we’ll have to keep buying them. Hell, our hopes this year still hinge on 40 year old Andy.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      In before death, exile or both.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

      I wonder if, much like “Memento,” if we read your comments in reverse chronological order, if they’d both make more sense and reveal an actual thin plot only held up by gimmickry.

    • jjyank says:

      That’s not really fair to Phelps. He was never supposed to be an ace, let’s temper expectations there.

    • Dean Winters says:

      Hell, our hopes this year still hinge on 40 year old Andy.


      Crazy isn’t it? Andy once again has to come to the rescue. But they won’t be buying pitching not with the 189 budget.

  6. Rich in NJ says:

    If the $189m threshold is real, I’m skeptical, unless there is a dip followed by a recovery in the five year timespan.

    “Hughes- Not an ace, can’t finish off hitters, gives up too many XBHs.”

    Still quite valuable, especially since he appears to be improving. With the issues that Nova, Banuelos, and Pineda have, Hughes is becoming close to a must-sign.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

      I wouldn’t say “must-sign”, but he serves a role in the rotation for which he’d probably still be a good fit at the salary he’d command. A mid/late 20′s #3-4 guy at about 8 million? Fine with me.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        Yeah, maybe a little overstated, but I have always been high on Hughes so perhaps I’m a little biased. That said, I think they should see if he would be amenable to a reasonable extension during the offseason.

        • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

          I think it really is more prudent to go a bit more down to the wire with him. I’m interested in what he brings to the table at the start of 2013 still.

          I’m very much still a big fan of the concept of Phil Hughes.

          • jjyank says:

            Yeah, I’ve said this before, but 2013 is huge for Phil, I feel moreso than a typical contract-year player. It will be kind of the first chance he has to establish a track record. We’ve seen so many type of Phil Hughes’, 2013 will be an opportunity for him to repeat one of them.

    • blake says:

      Hughes’s last 2 starts have shown me something the way he’s started using his CU to righties….its really helping him. I like the direction he’s trending….don’t think he’ll ever be a #1…just doesn’t have the secondary stuff but he doesn’t have to be an ace to be a very valuable big league starter.

      The problem with Hughes is that he’s almost a FA…and if he finishes this season strong and has a good 2013 he’s going to command a pretty nice pay day at age 27…..

  7. Eddard says:

    I think it’s becoming quite clear that Granderson can’t and won’t be retained. He’ll be past his peak years and wanting a big contract that we just can’t afford in Hal’s austerity budget. That money will go to Robbie Cano. If they can get Swisher at a decent 3 year deal they should take it. Gardner can play CF much better than Granderson going forward and for a lot less money.

  8. viridiana says:

    Prospect-bashing is the new prospect-hugging.

    Amazing, how much pissing and moaning and skepticism we now here. But simple truth is Yanks need prospects more than ever. And prospects have been key to success since 1996. Same will be true next 10 years so long as patience and perspective are maintained. Even with all the injuries and disappoinments with pitching this year, five ome-growns have made very valuable (if less than Cy Youngish contributions. That would be D-Rob, Hughes, Phelps, Nova and Pettitte.
    This has been an awful year with the DL a kind of bglack hole into which layers with seemingly small hurts dieappear (where, for example, is Angleo Gumbs?).
    But all the “most prospects fail” moaning misses the point. Many top prospects –and some lesser prospects — do succeed. And the only way you’ll winespecially with the new CBA is to keep and develop them. This farm system is still in pretty good shape.

  9. viridiana says:

    *we now hear* sorry

  10. yooboo says:

    Even with Cano and Granderson potential contracts in question beyond 2013, 189mm threshold game in 2014, a bunch of minor league hitters that are candidates for a strike out queen? Amazement!

  11. Murderers' Row Boat says:

    It makes miss the old days when The Boss would have seen this report, marched into the GM’s office and demanded they trade everyone for a “Big Name we can market”.

  12. Kosmo says:

    I know this won´t go over well on RAB but why not claim Josh Beckett ?

    His contract is ridiculous but Boston might be able to make a deal. Texas has expressed interest why not NY ? Beckett has playoff experience. I know it´s an over the top idea not predicated on any rational thought. I´d even give them Nova as a gift.

    • Eddard says:

      I wouldn’t give any current Yankee player for Josh Beckett, and that includes Ivan Nova. He’s a cancer in the locker room. He got Tito Francona run out of Boston and now wants to do the same to Valentine. He’s not even a good pitcher anymore so it would be another AJ who is worse in the locker room. Jeter doesn’t want that in the clubhouse.

      • Kosmo says:

        what do you know about what Jeter wants ? A change of scenery might do Beckett some good. He also pitched well the first half of the season before the mist hit the fan.
        Comparing Beckett to Burnett ? That´s a real stretch.

        it was much more than Beckett that got Tito run out of Boston.

    • blake says:

      Cause I hate him and more importantly….he sucks.

      • jjyank says:


        The mere thought made me throw up in my mouth a little.

        • blake says:

          I’d rather lose than have Josh Beckett in pinstripes….

          • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

            Whatever happened to the spirit of stealing their heroes away from them? C’mon! Boggs, Clemens…. ;)

            • jjyank says:

              Damon too. But I really, really hate Beckett.

              • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

                I’m not a massive fan either, and I think Paps in where I would have drawn the line as far as Sox go, but it would be like the wrestler who loses a match and has to go work his enemy for 30 days. Watch Beckett clean the locker room with a toothbrush. Watch Beckett have to wash CC’s underwear by hand. Etc.

                Watch Pedroia shave the bedbugs away!

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Nova for Beckett would be a great deal … for the Red Sox.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

      Wrong four letter name. Beckett for Lee Hyde.

  13. David Ortizs Dealer says:

    Beckett is “seen as” the clubhouse cancer in Boston, being in the NESN view region and seen him pitch he doesnt care, unlike AJ who pitched bad but looked like he was interested, Beckett, should just quit.

  14. AnthonyD says:

    Yankees have been killed for not producing a quality starting pitcher since Andy and that criticism is fair. Just for argument sake, in the last – let’s say ten years or so – how many teams have produced quality front end pitchers that were also drafted below where the Yankees pick. This isn’t intended to defend their scouting and development, more out of curiosity if the job they are doing is horific or merely average or what

    • viridiana says:

      Yanks have arguably produced several pitchers who’ve delievered “quality” performance. CM Wang was top winner in baseball over 2.5 year period. Freak injury put end to that. Argument was always over where he was true “ace” or not. At least a #2. Yankee farmhands otherwise have had “quality” seasons like IPK and Hughes have had, and are still young enough to develop consistency. But your point on drafting position is critical. Draft penalizes good teams and Yanks have been consistently good. Sox did develop Lester and Bucholz, who’ve also had quality stretches. Don’t recall when they were picked in draft but Sox have generally done a much better job in stockpiling picks thru selective arb offers and trades. Picks of course haven’t always worked out.

    • mike says:

      its not just the drafting – the Intl free agent market is where most of the Yanks top talent has come from over the past years, which was not subject to the draft rules and the yanks had an incredible financial advantage to use on the players – whether young guys like Cano, CMW, Al Soriano, Montero etc…or older guys like Duke, Matsui etc.

      the yankees have done a horrific job with chosing and developing draft-eligible talent…especially when gardner and Robertson are the only two guys who come to mind to be drafted outside the 1st round who are actually helping the team whatsoever.

      • jjyank says:

        If that’s your meter (helping the team out), then it’s not really fair to exclude guys who were traded for guys helping the team. So you can add Swish, Ichiro, and Granderson too. Drafting hasn’t been great, but “horrific” is being dramatic in my opinion.

  15. SRB says:

    If the Yanks don’t re-sign Grandy, does that make the trade of AJack and IPK a loser?

    • Rich in NJ says:

      That would depend on: a) what they get back; and/or b) how important you view contending) at a higher level over the last few seasons (and possibly winning it all this season) than they would have if the trade had not been made.

      Apart from that, ownership seems to believe that they have to appear be able to win the WS every single season, even if that means possibly winning less WS than they would have over time had they been more patient.

      I don’t like that mindset, but it is what it is.

    • Murderers' Row Boat says:

      Yup, which is why they will sign him. Expect the Yankees to employ a voodoo witch to make put a spell on A-Rod to make him retire in 2014.

    • Ed says:

      Of course not. They traded a couple prospects for an established major league player under contract for 4 seasons at far below free agent rates. So far they’ve gotten two above average seasons and an MVP level season out of him. That’s a great trade.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

      Not necessarily. I’d say the trade was not predicated at all on whether the team re-signed him but, rather, his performance while he remained under contract.

      A lot of things to judge on here as well. Performance is great in some areas, not in others. Team hasn’t, at least yet, taken the next step with him on the roster.

      Time will tell, but my answer, right no, is “no.”

    • Brian S. says:

      AJax is better than Grandy and IPK is a top of the rotation starter. We already lost.

      • jjyank says:

        Grandy was better than A-Jax every other year after the trade and IPK regressed this year. Not that cut and dry.

        • Brian S. says:

          IPK is still going to be a 3 win pitcher this year after being a 5 win guy last year. Austin Jackson was better in 2010 and this year. Going forward those two are young, cost controlled, and effective. Granderson is expensive and not that good anymore.

          • Brian S. says:

            Although to Grandy’s credit his 2011 wzs awesome.

          • jjyank says:

            With AJax, I guess that depends in part on whether or not you believe that the highest walk rate and lowest strikeout rates of his career are sustainable. It’s semantics, people get far too wrapped up on “winning” or “losing” a trade.

  16. LiterallyFigurative says:

    Being second to Texas in these rankings is no shame. Texas has been to back to back WS and have as good of a chance to go three times. They have the best on-field team in MLB (meaning position players), a strong farm system, and are more than willing to spend money. Even with the possibility of losing Hamilton, I’d still consider them a threat in 2013 and beyond. They’d probably trade a prospect or two for a young beast to replace him.

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