The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


What do Jeter, Valdez and Coke have in common?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 21, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Fair warning, there is no real news value here, just a list you might find interesting. At the end of the 2009 season, the 10 longest consecutively tenured Yankees were…

1. Mariano Rivera (non-drafted free agent, February 1990)
2. Jorge Posada (24th round, 1990)
3. Derek Jeter (first round, 1992)
4. Chien-Ming Wang (non-drafted free agent, May 2000)
5. Jose Valdez (non-drafted free agent, October 2000)
6. Robinson Cano (non-drafted free agent, January 2001)
7. Shelley Duncan (second round, 2001)
8. Melky Cabrera (non-drafted free agent, November 2001)
9. Wilkin De La Rosa (non-drafted free agent, November 2001)
10. Phil Coke (26th round, 2002)

Cabrera beat De La Rosa by two days. Had they not left the organization for a while, Andy Pettitte would have ranked second — drafted two rounds ahead of Posada — and Triple-A outfielder John Rodriguez would have ranked fourth (he was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1997).

Now that Valdez and Duncan are gone, the next Yankees to join the Top 10 are (potentially)…

Marcos Vechionacci (non-drafted free agent, August 2002)
Hideki Matsui (non-drafted free agent, January 2003)
Francisco Cervelli (non-drafted free agent, March 2003)

The Yankees would have to re-sign free agents Vechionacci and Matsui for them to move into the Top 10. Now that all 2003 draftees are free agents, the next five on the list to join the Top 10 are a group of fairly obscure minor leaguers and one not-at-all-obscure major leaguer…

Josue Calzado (non-drafted free agent, May 2003)
Melky Mesa (non-drafted free agent, July 2003)
Jose Gil (non-drafted free agent, July 2003)
Luis Nunez (non-drafted free agent, November 2003)
Alex Rodriguez (acquired in trade, February 2004)

If the Yankees were to re-sign minor league free agents Eric Duncan (first round, 2003), Jay Stephens (sixth round, 2003) or Michael Gardner (13th round, 2003), they would also fit into this list.

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