Today, we'll take a look at the other 12 men who cracked my roster. I've created a 5 man pitching rotation and a bullpen, making sure to give each role to a season and player that fulfills it. For example, there is one pitcher on this list who built up his career as a set up man, but because the set up man position was already filled, I used one of his earlier middle relief positions instead.
1 - C.C. Sabathia
Statistics: 237.1 IP, 19-8 W-L, 3.00 ERA, 230 SO
2 - Mike Mussina
Statistics: 200.1 IP, 20-9 W-L, 3.37 ERA, 150 SO
3 - Chien-Ming Wang
Statistics: 218 IP, 19-6 W-L, 3.63 ERA, 76 SO
I remember when Wang was first called up, and by watching him pitch it was hard to believe he would amount to what he did in that short time span. But he was dominant as a ground ball pitcher early on in his career, until a freak baserunning injury in Houston took him out of the zone he had been growing accustomed to. He was arguably the best pitcher in the league during that two year stretch alongside Johan Santana, but the longevity wasn't there. It's pretty sad, actually. On this list, however, we acknowledge the best seasons around, and there isn't a doubt in my mind that Wang belonged right in the thick of this staff.
4 - Hiroki Kuroda
Statistics: 219.2 IP, 16-11 W-L, 3.32 ERA, 167 SO
I was skeptical of Kuroda when the Yankees first signed him the offseason going into the 2012 season. He was always falling a bit short of being regarded as an All Star caliber pitcher thanks to little to no run support with the Dodgers. Eventually, I warmed up to him, and he earned every bit of my appreciation. In case his first season under the bright lights of New York wasn't good enough, he topped it off with a few great postseason starts. Kuroda pitched pretty well in each of his three seasons here, and is now headed back home to Japan to pitch for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, his former team. Good luck, Hiroki.
5 - Andy Pettitte
Statistics: 215.1 IP, 15-9 W-L, 4.05 ERA, 141 SO
Long Relief - Alfredo Aceves
Statistics: 84 IP, 10-1 W-L, 3.54 ERA, 69 SO
Middle Relief -
Statistics: 56 IP, 2-2 W-L, 2.09 ERA, 39 SO
He had been a consistently good reliever since 2003, and the Yankees gave him a call in 2011, signing him to a Minor League deal. Ayala made the Opening Day roster and was one of Joe Girardi's go to options in the bullpen that year.
Statistics: 43.2 IP, 2-1 W-L, 3.30 ERA, 63 SO
Statistics: 78.2 IP, 3-6 W-L, 2.97 ERA, 76 SO
Lefty Specialist - Boone Logan
Statistics: 39 IP, 5-2 W-L, 3.23 ERA, 50 SO
Set Up Man - Dellin Betances
Statistics: 90 IP, 5-0 W-L, 1.40 ERA, 135 SO
Closer - Mariano Rivera
Statistics: 78.1 IP, 7-4 W-L, 1.38 ERA, 80 SO, 43 SV
Total Salary (Starting Pitchers): $77,853,093
Average Salary (Starting Pitchers): $6,487,757.75
Notable Omissions: Rafael Soriano, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Randy Johnson, Ivan Nova, Masahiro Tanaka, Clay Rapada
Total Team Salary: $215,579,189
Average Salary: $8,623,167.56
This team chock full of superstar seasons was about $20 million less than the Dodgers' 2014 payroll. Obviously, this is a "perfect world" sort of team, and it's near impossible to predict for an entire team to be this successful, but this really goes to show that sometimes, things really can pay off. I had a tough time choosing my team manager, because I liked Joe Torre more than Joe Girardi. But in the end, I went with 2009's Joe Girardi to lead the club, since he did take them to a World Series and all. It may be a little while before that happens again in New York.
I had so much fun making this list for you all, and I hope you all enjoyed that brief intermission from my 2014 season preview! I will have the NL West, playoff, and award predictions coming soon; so stay tuned for more here on drewscards!