While we watch the Yankees hammer Angel pitching, it comes time to reflect a bit on the year that was. Sure, A-Rod is putting together one of the greatest post-seasons of all-time, but the Yankees may not even be there if it weren't for three, very rich, but very talented, free agents: A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia, and Mark Teixeira.
Those 3 were signed for, combined, over $350MM, the largest such amount ever spent by any team in one off-season. However, they might have been the best three ever signed. When the Yankees went into the off-season they had one goal: improve the starting rotation. The lineup and bullpen were after-thoughts. Well they accomplished that goal and a little extra.
Not since Mike Mussina in 2001, had a Yankee free agent really payed off. However, 2.5/3 have done that so far in 2009. Teixeira, who's 39 home runs and 122 RBIs lead the American League, will most likely finish 2nd in the MVP voting to Joe Mauer and CC Sabathia, 19-8 3.37 ERA, will be in the top 5 for the Cy Young. Plus, Burnett hasn't been half-bad (13-9 4.04). The Yankees really couldn't of asked for anything more than that.