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Friday notes: “I’ve set my goals higher”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 28, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Adam Warren

Pretty easy to bundle Adam Warren and David Phelps into a single entity. They’re both right-handed pitchers in their mid-20s out of major college programs at basically the exact same stage of development with relatively similar pitching arsenals vying for the same big league roles while lockering right next to one another.

It seems any time one of their names is mentioned, the other’s name won’t be far behind.

“(Phelps) is one of my really good friends,” Warren said. “I don’t get annoyed at all. … We joke about it a little bit. Sometimes people expect us to be clashing, and enemies, and we joke about it — we’re supposed to hate each other, right? — but no, other than joking around about it, we don’t seriously talk about (the fifth-starter competition). We know we’re supposed to just go out there and get the job done.”

Phelps-and-Warren — the two-headed rotation/bullpen candidate — has started the past two games for the Yankees. Phelps took his turn yesterday and got a bunch of strikeouts while allowing a home run. Warren took his turn today and walked an unusual number of guys, but ultimately pitched two scoreless with a pickoff for good measure. He joked that he’ll be able to give Phelps a hard time about being the first to pick off a guy this spring (Phelps has a great pickoff move and takes some pride in it).

“A little jumpy the first inning, just excited to get back out there,” Warren said. “I’m not pleased with the walks, but I know that’s not normal for me. Just feel like I was a little jumpy, so made the adjustment in the second inning there.”

Brian McCann said he was happy with the ground balls Warren was able to generate, and Joe Girardi said he was overall happy with what he saw from today’s starter. In one role or another, it seems that both Phelps and Warren have a spots on the Yankees pitching staff, it’s just a matter of figuring out how exactly to use them. They don’t actually have to be one and the same.

“I think my confidence is high,” Warren said. “I know I can get these guys out, so I’ve just been worried about going out there and executing pitches. … I’ve set my goals higher. It goes from just trying to make the team — I mean, I’m still trying to make the team this year — but setting some higher goals for myself, making more of an impact. For the most part not thinking about competing, just getting ready for the season. But I’m definitely more comfortable this year and a little more confident after what happened last year.”

Torii Hunter, Brian McCann, Andy Fletcher· Weird day on the bases for the Tigers who had a runner picked off at second, another runner thrown out inexplicably trying to go first to third on a walk, and had another runner thrown out at the plate. It was Zoilo Almonte who got the outfield assist with a terrific throw from left field to end the third inning. “It’s kind of exactly what I would have done before the rule (about not blocking the plate),” Brian McCann said. “You let the ball travel, and it was a bang-bang play, and he slid right into the tag. It was a great throw. All I had to do was put my glove on the plate and he was there.”

· Warren on his pickoff against Rajai Davis: ?I know he’s aggressive on the basepaths, so it was kinda just a daylight play. … It’s neat to pick somebody off, just to get the practice and game experience in, I just wasn’t expecting it.”

· McCann seemed a little surprised that he hit a homer today (and he crushed it, by the way). “I usually don’t hit home runs early in camp,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad sign. My first two games, I’ve been pleased with the way I’ve felt at the plate.”

· I find myself writing Yangervis Solarte’s name more than I expected. He was in the lineup again today and had another big game: 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI. He’s the first Yankees player to hit two homers this spring. Seems like a borderline but not out-of-the-question option for a bench role. He’s kind of an Eduardo Nunez alternative, I guess.

Victor Martinez, Jacoby Ellsbury· Speaking of Nunez, he made his spring debut but went 0-for-3. His debut was pushed back two days because of food poisoning.

· Joba Chamberlain came out to talk to some of the Yankees during batting practice. He’s in noticeably better shape than he was during his final season with the Yankees. “He looks good,” Girardi said. “He was in good spirits. We talked about his son a little bit and the hockey they’re playing. He was excited.”

· Game notes: Jose Pirela also homered in the game, giving the Yankees four home runs. … Addison Maruszak drew two walks and scored a run, but he also made his second error in as many games. … Double for Zelous Wheeler and a triple for Francisco Arcia. … All four Tigers runs were charged to Brian Gordon who allowed six hits in a rough seventh inning. … Shawn Kelly, Preston Claiborne, Mark Montgomery, Dan Burawa, Fred Lewis and Chase Whitley pitched a scoreless inning apiece. Claiborne and Lewis each had two strikeouts.

· Girardi joked that he’s going to have to fine himself for wearing a home jersey today. “Yes, I noticed it right away when I was out there,” Girardi said. “What are you going to do? They need to help me a little more, evidently. During the season, you don’t have two to pick from in your locker.”

· Final word goes to Gary Sanchez, who had the quote of the day about whether he got the home run ball: “No,” he said. “I’m going to get the one I hit at Yankee Stadium.”

Associated Press photos

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63 Responses to “Friday notes: “I’ve set my goals higher””

  1. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Oh man, its a new post and I have to think of something. Ok, here it goes, I like Dave Stieb.

  2. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Drabek is 27, his dad better get the cattle prodder out. Dustin McGowan sounds better. I wasn’t that hot for Jimenez though, and I can’t get all that excited aboot Santana. I say, run Stroman out there like David Clyde.

  3. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I never knew until now that Neil Diamond did, ” Both sides Now “. Neil,…..you shouldn’ta done it.

  4. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Buehrle, you better toss 200 plus great ones here. I don’t care if Ontario doesn’t allow pitbulls; then again, find a loophole. My friend has one, and lucky me, the thing loves me to death.

  5. Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Adam Warren (4th round) and David Phelps (14th round) who will both make the team in 2014 are examples of the Yankee farm system not being as bad as many think.

  6. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    jmills – Happy Friday… a clip just for you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX764-0J82Q

  7. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Blojaldo – I like both Phelps and Warren… neither are ever likely to hold high profile roles in the picthing staff but both have the makeup and versatility that is invaluable to a team

  8. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    chicken, merci, merci, merci! Stieb put me on the map, and dragged the Jays in contention – hall of famer!!! No ultimate WS without him IMO. ( I sent your link to myself and saved it )

  9. Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 7:58 pm
    Blojaldo – I like both Phelps and Warren… neither are ever likely to hold high profile roles in the picthing staff but both have the makeup and versatility that is invaluable to a team.
    __________________________

    Absolutely, I agree completely. These were good draft picks from good baseball programs that were developed properly and now are able to contribute to the Yankees in a meaningful way. You are right about their versatility; whether it’s injury insurance, a 5th starter, a long man or middle relief. Every team needs pitchers like this.

  10. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    ” Dragged the Jays into contention ” – tomorrow I’ll be perfect.

  11. ZachA February 28th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    As much as we complain about the yankee infield right now, do you remember this lineup from last year? Dang. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-je54.....00/1af.jpg

  12. Giuseppe Franco February 28th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Fifth and sixth starters and bullpen arms are a dime a dozen.

    The only starting position player they’ve developed in the last 5 years is Gardner.

    The developmental side of the organization has failed miserably in recent years and is broken. Even optimist Hal acknowledged that during the offseason so it’s not exactly a state secret.

  13. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    ZachA – Ouch!

  14. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    chicken, your link included a live version of ” Highway to Hell “. Was that planned? I love Bon Scott, and Brian Johnson was nothing less than gracious coming in. Rush were great giving it up to them in the SARS concert.

  15. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    GF – I’m not saying that Phelps’ and Warren’s development reflects in any way (good or bad) on the Yankee farm system. I just think they are good staff assets for the short term at least. Maybe they are a dime a dozen… If so, I’ll take at least a nickel’s worth every year! :)

  16. cofuzz February 28th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I’ll ask again…
    Who’s getting the locker formerly belonging to Brian Gordon?

  17. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    jmills – I didn’t catch the live version of HTH in the link! What did you say in a previous post? Serendipity :)

  18. Joe from Long Island February 28th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Gf – I understand your meaning, but I think you’re not giving a degree of credit where it’s due.

    Yes, neither phelps nor warren is a top of the order starting pitcher. However, they have succeeded where 98% of minor leaguers have failed. They are legitimate major league players. Being in the top 2% of your peers should count for something.

    Hope you are well.

  19. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AdwVQTe-bPA#

    AC/DC – Sars Toronto

  20. joeman February 28th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    yep

  21. Giuseppe Franco February 28th, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    GF – I’m not saying that Phelps’ and Warren’s development reflects in any way (good or bad) on the Yankee farm system. I just think they are good staff assets for the short term at least. Maybe they are a dime a dozen… If so, I’ll take at least a nickel’s worth every year! :)

    —–

    My comments weren’t meant for you specifically. I’m just stating the obvious that the farm in general is in pretty bad shape, which is why the team was in the position to overspend in FA while ignoring 2 positions in the infield.

    Of course starters like Phelps and Warren are useful and every team needs them. But the one area they’ve had success on the developmental side is bullpen arms.

    Cashman has had control of the farm system since late 2005 and they spent years stockpiling young arms as trade chips and for their own use.

    It’s a sound strategy because everyone needs pitching. The problem is that they haven’t done a good enough job developing those arms, which is a major problem because they don’t have very many position players to be excited about either.

    You can’t build a sustainable winner if you don’t do a good job developing your own.

  22. tomingeorgia February 28th, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    It’ll be fun to watch tomorrow’s game. These three pitchers hold our future in their hands.

  23. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    You can’t build a sustainable winner if you don’t do a good job developing your own

    —————————

    agreed

  24. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    joeman, can we get some more guitar in this room? I’m over here!

  25. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Brian johnson of AC/DC drives fast cars. He was telling a story aboot how he was trying to go around a corner at 170 mph and his steering wheel came off because he didn’t put it on fully. I wouldn’t do this, I’d pay people to get it right.

  26. Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    The term “developed” as it’s used here regarding prospects to measure their success or failure is way overused in my opinion and isn’t all that valuable. Unless one can point to specific shortcomings a team’s baseball people have exhibited that leads more often than not to failure – I don’t give it much credence. So much depends upon the players natural abilities and skill set, which ties into where they are drafted, etc. You can’t make a great movie with a lousy script. Do I think that Joba or Hughes failed here because the Yankee system failed to develop them properly? No. At a certain point the player just has to get it done.

  27. UpState February 28th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 8:03 pm
    chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 7:58 pm
    Blojaldo – I like both Phelps and Warren… neither are ever likely to hold high profile roles in the picthing staff but both have the makeup and versatility that is invaluable to a team.
    __________________________

    Absolutely, I agree completely. These were good draft picks from good baseball programs that were developed properly and now are able to contribute to the Yankees in a meaningful way. You are right about their versatility; whether it’s injury insurance, a 5th starter, a long man or middle relief. Every team needs pitchers like this.
    ========================

    Phelps and Warren are fine…not #1′s – but decent solid pitchers.
    Rounds 4 & 14 ?
    Seems that all the other ‘much more brilliant’ organizations PASSED on them – multiple times !
    They have been (as best as I know) – injury free for their minor league development.
    That’s a HUGE factor !
    Gotta be glad to have them !

    The SANO kid from the Minnesota system just got injured….does that mean the Minn system sucks ?
    No.
    But some here refuse to recognize that so much luck goes into choosing a player and not having him injured beyond repair or simply implode before they ‘mature’ to the ML level.

    What round did Albert Pujols get picked in ???
    60th or something like that…and he stayed healthy and he wasn’t a ‘head case’ – so STL was very, very lucky….not brilliant, as again, all the ML teams passed on him 50 times or so !

    The NYY have not had the advantage of picking in the Top 15 very often in recent times.
    When they did – they got that Jeter kid.
    Another time they took a kid with awesome talent – Brien Taylor…he got injured (I think defending a friend) and never recovered to the point where we would’ve had a pitcher with #1 ace stuff.

    It’s so easy to bash the draft results without really looking at what went on.
    We are not the only team that has had crappy results with kids.
    You gotta be lucky…. very lucky.

  28. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Funny youtube meeting of Brain Johnson and NASCAR champ, ELliott.

  29. Giuseppe Franco February 28th, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Joe from Long Island February 28th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Gf – I understand your meaning, but I think you’re not giving a degree of credit where it’s due.

    Yes, neither phelps nor warren is a top of the order starting pitcher. However, they have succeeded where 98% of minor leaguers have failed. They are legitimate major league players. Being in the top 2% of your peers should count for something.

    Hope you are well.

    ——

    Hey, Joe. It’s been a long time.

    I’m doing fantastic. I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been in my life and I’m about to turn 40 on Wed. When I was extremely ill, I didn’t think I was going to see 36.

    I didn’t intend to be overly harsh regarding Warren and Phelps. Both are good arms to have on your team.

    My problem with the organization though is that it’s not a good sign when some of you’re biggest success stories in the last few years on the player development side is your 5th and 6th starters or the long men in your pen.

    They desperately need to improve their player development side because they will not be able to build a sustainable winner otherwise.

    This is the NY Yankees. They should be better than this.

  30. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    GF, hang in there! You’re just getting started!

  31. Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    UpState, that is a really excellent post on drafting without the spin and gratuitous bashing. Kudos. Have the Yankees made mistakes in judgment in drafting kids that didn’t have what it takes Sure they did. And so does every other team.

    Pujols was actually drafted in the 13th round at 402. Can you imagine?

  32. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Brian johnson of AC/DC drives fast cars

    ——————–

    He was on Top Gear UK as the “star in a reasonably priced car” (stars are timed for a few hot laps in ordinary sedan) a few years ago… Great interview and he ended up with great lap times as well. Alas, I can’t find the video anywhere

  33. joeman February 28th, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    just had a Olkos

  34. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    This subject came up a month or two ago… Is there any information available as to draft position vs probability of making it to the major leagues? I’m sure the 1st and 2nd rounders make it to the majors more often than later picks but I was wondering about rounds after that… I’m curious as to whether there is any objective data that can measure the importance of scouting vs development. I haven’t found anything.

  35. joeman February 28th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Dave Keon

  36. Giuseppe Franco February 28th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    You don’t have to pick in the Top 15 to consistently develop good ballplayers. That’s an excuse and only the first round. Not every good ballplayer was selected in the Top 15 of the draft.

    Somehow, the Rays and Cards seem to be able to do it.

    If you want to bring up Pujols, that’s fine. The Cards let the best hitter in the game walk and still managed to get to the World Series the following season and did so with some key youngsters they developed in their system.

    People can downplay the results and make excuses until their blue in the face. But Hal himself said in the offseason that the farm has been a big disappointment, which is stating the obvious given the predicament they are in right now.

  37. Giuseppe Franco February 28th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Brian johnson of AC/DC drives fast cars

    ——————–

    He was on Top Gear UK as the “star in a reasonably priced car” (stars are timed for a few hot laps in ordinary sedan) a few years ago… Great interview and he ended up with great lap times as well. Alas, I can’t find the video anywhere

    —-

    Johnson is the only member of that band who you will ever see making media appearances. AC/DC is extremely private and any issues going on with them have always been kept in house.

  38. dan l February 28th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    The farm system is all about one thing…HEALTH! You have to stay healthy.

    Those that bash the system have not looked at it in depth. I think many will be pleasantly surprised going forward…the Yankees need a better plan to integrate youth…create roles.

  39. UpState February 28th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 8:47 pm
    UpState, that is a really excellent post on drafting without the spin and gratuitous bashing. Kudos. Have the Yankees made mistakes in judgment in drafting kids that didn’t have what it takes Sure they did. And so does every other team.

    Pujols was actually drafted in the 13th round at 402. Can you imagine?
    ==========================================================

    THX !

    ….with Pujols…the ‘uber-brilliant’ Cardinals MiLB brain trust passed on him a DOZEN times !

    (…and – no – they weren’t ‘stockpiling’ him)

    Virtually every team has missed on multiple superstars (and decent players, too) every year…the real ‘smartness’ has to come if your drafting within the top 15, where the ‘slam-dunk’ prospects are. You can’t blow a top 15 pick !

    Development: Critical, but you can’t develop an injured player or a head case or a player that simply doesn’t have major league abilities…..you can try, try, try – but if he cant hit a FB; he cant hit a FB ! You can send him annually to “extra-help” classes – but even after all that, he still simply cannot hit a FB ?
    Then, he times out and is likely also un-tradeable.

  40. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Next year they must rebuild an entire IF.

    That will be job # 1.

    I’d start the process by trading off a C for a guy like Owings if that is a possibility.

  41. joeman February 28th, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Jose Fernandez ..expect 200 IP & 200+ K’S …finish with 12-10 record

  42. dan l February 28th, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    “But Hal himself said in the offseason that the farm has been a big disappointment, which is stating the obvious given the predicament they are in right now.”

    This is just not true…Hal chose NOT to fight against a negative perception. If he truly thought that everyone would be gone. The farm isn’t ready…

  43. Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    It’s very difficult to project how a prospect is going to mature both physically and mentally and if he has what it takes to ultimately succeed in the show. It’s really hard and many teams don’t get it right.

  44. pkyankfan69 February 28th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Knicks only gave up 73 in the first half tonight… lol

  45. bbb51 February 28th, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    braeburn February 28th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    i’m wondering how many people have actually taken a close look at mccann’s stats for the past two years. they weren’t that great.

    I’ll take .256 .336 .461 .796, but I want more than 102 games.

  46. bbb51 February 28th, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Those were his numbers last year.

  47. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I’d start the process by trading off a C for a guy like Owings if that is a possibility.

    ———————–

    I’ve never seen Owings play and I’m not a scout but from what I’ve heard and read, Owings would be a great get!

  48. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Glenn-

    We have a lot of work to do so let’s start the ball rolling so to speak.

    ;)

  49. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    My 1st choice would be Castro followed by Owings, Franklin, or Gregoruis.

    Diaz is still out there too.

    He might be worthwhile at the right price for 2b or 3b.

    Point is we need to acquire young IF’er’s by using our surpluses in trade because that is what we lack.

    Right now Catching looks like a strong suit for us.

    I’d rather not see any more tire patches. I’d like to build for the future as well as the present.

  50. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    If things break right we have the potential to have a terrific young Pitching staff for years to come.

    I hope we’re set there w the addition of Tanaka.

  51. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    If D-Rob is successful we have our closer of the future too.

  52. chicken_stanley February 28th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    My 1st choice would be Castro followed by Owings, Franklin, or Gregoruis

    —————————-

    I keep having nagging doubts about Castro… flip him and Owings and I’m okay with your list :)

    As much as I hate to agree with Blake ( :) ), I like Andrus over all of the above. his contract is a bit worrisome, though.

  53. Ys Guy February 28th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Since the Rays have been winning, they have not been getting the kind of talent they used to in the draft. They have gotten prospects from trading away established stars but that likely won’t be enough. Their own drafted prospect pool is drying up and they are looking to trade Price to get someone young and cost controlled back due to the dearth of talent in thier system. (as they did with Shields)
    Baseball Prospectus had the Rays as #8 last year, dropped them down to #26 this year.

  54. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    But we must have a world-class IF to take full advantage of our world-class Pitching staff.

    Guys who suck up GB’s like Hoover vacuum cleaners.

    ;)

  55. UpState February 28th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:35 pm
    My 1st choice would be Castro followed by Owings, Franklin, or Gregoruis.

    Diaz is still out there too.

    He might be worthwhile at the right price for 2b or 3b.

    Point is we need to acquire young IF’er’s by using our surpluses in trade because that is what we lack.

    Right now Catching looks like a strong suit for us.

    I’d rather not see any more tire patches. I’d like to build for the future as well as the present.
    =======================================

    I’m thinking that Cashman & Co. have these very names (and probably a few more we haven’t speculated on yet) on a huge whiteboard somewhere deep in a basement of the Tampa Baseball Complex.
    Along side each target is :
    A — What they’re willing to give up
    B — What the other team will want/eventually take
    C — Honest availability
    D — How close they are to the deal.

    There’s probably a similar whiteboard in the ‘new’ catacombs of Yankee Stadium !

    (or it’s just on his iPad)

    The whiteboard has more intrigue to it, though.

  56. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Glenn-

    IMO Castro has a huge bat potential.

    More than any of the others.

    I think he needs a fresh start.

    I see a lot of Hanley there.

  57. UpState February 28th, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:45 pm
    But we must have a world-class IF to take full advantage of our world-class Pitching staff.

    Guys who suck up GB’s like Hoover vacuum cleaners.

    ============================================

    Nunez sucks.

    (does that count ?)

    ….OH ! You mean like they can field ground balls like Hoover vacuum cleaners….

    ………..’never mind’

  58. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    US-

    I hope so.

    :)

  59. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Cripes, I hope I have a starting rotation vs you and,… ys guy,… Tanaka!

  60. jmills February 28th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Upstate, I’m trying to learn about basketball. Canada invented it along with baseball.

  61. MTU February 28th, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    New post ——->

  62. Blojaldo February 28th, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I have complete confidence in Brian Cashman’s ability to assess and upgrade the infield and bullpen personnel, if necessary. I am certain that there is not a major league infielder, or a relief pitcher for that matter, that Cashman and his team are not aware of and tracking. I am also sure that he has talked to the General Managers for those he considers good fits and understands who is available and at what cost. He’s all over it and I believe he has been for months.

  63. Hankflorida February 28th, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    The Yankees had no choice but to bring in Ellsbury, McCaan, Roberts, Johnson, Tanaka and Beltran because last year the shuttle bus from the minor leagues was a disaster, and these FA’s were the pick of the litter. The Yankees championship teams mostly came before the draft was initiated, and
    they could stockpile young talent because they were the wealthiest team. I doubt if DiMag or Mantle would be in pinstripes under the old system until they became FA’s.

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