The Bronx Tales: My favorite random Yankees in honor of Matt Carpenter's recent signing
What a world 2022 is. Who would've thought that long time Cardinal and 3x All-Star, a beardless, Matt Carpenter would be on the Yankees. Arguably one of the best hitters in baseball from 2012 to 2018, the past few years has been so-so. However the infield utility man and 36 year old lefty, has been raking for the Rangers AAA (.992 OPS in 21 games).
When a random yet memorable vet joins the Bombers, I always get gitty, even if their
production isn't emulating their former prime results.
Before fantasy baseball and MLB The Show, we grew up making our own collection of stars via baseball cards. Making binders and organizing them in many different ways. If you weren't collecting baseball cards growing up as a kid, were you really a baseball fan I've always had players who I would have loved to see in pinstripes. Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, you name it.
Over the years, some of those players joined the ranks in the Bronx. The Yankees have always added a random player or two that made me smile, here are a few that come to mind that still shock me to this day.
Ivan Rodriguez: 2008
Former: Rangers, Marlins, Tigers
Awards: 14x All-Star, World Series Champ, AL MVP, NLCS MVP, 13x Gold Glove, 7x Silver Slugger, HOF
Arguably one of the top tier catchers in MLB history, many people forget that I-Rod made a brief appearance as a Yank. After a decade in Texas, a World Series in Miami, and four seasons in Detroit, Pudge was traded to the Yanks at the 2008 deadline for relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth. Jorge Posada had season ending surgery and Rodriguez wanted to leave the Tigers with limited playing time. He wound up sharing duties with Jose Molina, and only started 26 games out of the 55 remaining. He finished the year with batting .278 with 2 homeruns, 3 RBIs, and 21 hits.
Bartolo Colon: 2011
Former: Indians, Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox
Awards: 4x All-Star, AL CY Young, AL Wins Leader
Big Sexy! After sitting out in 2010 with shoulder issues, he signed a minor league deal with the Yankees the following year. Despite being 30 pounds overweight, he competed at spring training and earned a bullpen roster spot on Opening Day. He became a starter in April when Phil Hughes got hurt. He went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA. He did throw a 4-hit complete-game shutout, his first since 2006 against the Athletics on May 30th.
Ivan Rodriguez: 2012-14
Awards: 10x All-Star, AL ROY, AL MVP, 10x Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger, 2x AL Batting Champ
An all-time WTF moment, I couldn't believe Ichiro was a Yankee. As the Mariners were trying to get younger, Ichiro was looking to contend. He also felt guilty for taking a roster spot from a younger player while his team was in a rebuilding process. I wish that he got to win a ring with a team, but he still had an incredible career.
He was a hit machine while in New York. In his first half season with the team, he played 67 games for the Yanks after arriving and hit .322 with a whooping 72 hits. In the playoffs, he collected three runs, five hits, a homer, and 5 RBIs. Overall in his Yankees career, he would play in 360 games, amass 311 hits, hit 13 home runs, 84 RBIs, and batted .281. Having one of the most iconic baseball players ever to play alongside Derek Jeter was incredible to watch.
Andrew McCutchen: 2018
Former: Pirates, Giants
Awards: 5x All-Star, NL MVP, Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, Roberto Clemente Award
Another name I was hoping was going to stick, but at least he made his way to the Bronx. Former MVP and longtime Pirate, Andrew McCutchen came as a playoff reinforcement at the deadline.
25 games in the Bronx with solid production, but an absolute dud in the ALDS, it was cool to have Cutch part of the Yankees, but it was more of a fools good trade. He ended up getting the bag with the Phillies and now he is raking with the Brew-Crew in Milwaukee.
Troy Tulowitzki: 2019
Former: Rockies, Blue Jays
Awards: 5x All-Star, 2x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger
Short lived, but so so cool. After injuries slowed down his one illustrious career, Tuli signed with the Yanks on a one year deal. With Didi starting the season on the IL, he earned the starting shortstop gig. For fans, this was going to be the second coming of Jeter. He hit his first homer as a Yank and last one ever in the bottom of the 9th against the O's on March 30th, but after 5 games he went to the IL with a calf strain. By July came around, still on the 60 day IL, he announced his retirement.
Edwin Encarnación: 2019
Former: Reds, Blue Jays, Indians, Mariners
Awards: 3x All-Star, AL RBI Leader
Edwinnnnn. Out of the blue in June, the Mariners traded Encernacion to the Yanks for a minor league pitcher and cash. He became a fan and team favorite very early into his tenure. His bat was HOT. Hitting .249 with 13 homers, 44 hits, and 37 RBI's. His famous parrot strut turned into a symbol of hope for the team, and later a stuffed animal. Things changed when he fractured his wrist in August, and he became irrelevant in the postseason. The team didn't exercised his option.
Other Notable Names
Lance Berkman (2010)
Andruw Jones (2011-12)
Vernon Wells (2013)
Rich Hill (2014)
Carlos Beltran (2014-16)
Brian McCann (2014-16)
Matt Holiday (2017)
Todd Frazier (2017)
Corey Kluber (2021)
Anthony Rizzo (2021-Present)