These are my top most important Yankees to the continued success of the franchise. This is a look at the team that goes behind just the 2009 season.
1. Brian Cashman
The three of us all agree: The Yanks GM has earned himself the top spot on the list. He will be the General Manager, barring a catastrophic Yankee disaster, through at least the 2011 campaign. His decisions over the next few seasons will shape the next generation of Yankee stars, hopes and dreams.
2. Joba Chamberlain
No one embodies the future of the Yankees more than Joba. His peripherals — 152 K’s, 45 BB’s in 124.1 innings — through age 22 are off the charts. The Yankees are either looking at their future ace for the next 10-15 years or the heir to Mariano. In that regard, 2009 is a big year for Joba. If he can stay healthy as a starter, the Yanks should have a legitimate star on their hands. If he can’t, well, then the $64,000 question surrounding Mariano’s successor beings a lot easier to answer.