The New York Yankees have parted ways with seven members of the 2009 World Series Championship roster. Can you name the seven? Some were heroes, some were just okay, and some were role players that were necessary to win a championship. We’ll review what those seven have been up to since they left the Bombers to play elsewhere. Also, we’ll guess where they’d fit in if they came back to play for the Yankees in 2010.

Photo by Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Phil Coke – RP
2009 Stats: 72 games, 4-3, 60 IP, 4.50 ERA, 1.067 WHIP, 21 Holds
2010 Stats: 28 games, 3-0, 25 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 7 Holds
Departed: December 8, 2009 – Traded as part of a 3-team trade. Yankees get: Curtis Granderson. Detroit Tigers get: Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth. Arizona Diamondbacks get: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.
Reaction: Given the volatility of DaMaso Marte, Phil Coke is most certainly missed. He was the left-handed specialist in the Yankee bullpen, and a part of the “Final Four”. His success will ultimately determine who got the best end of the three-way trade listed above.
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: in the same role as last year, and my blood pressure would be much more stable.

Hideki Matsui – DH
2009 Stats: 142 games, .274/.367/.479, 28 HR, 90 RBI
2010 Stats: 60 games, .260/.335/.433, 9 HR, 34 RBI
Departed: December 14, 2010 – Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels (1 year, $6.5M)
Reaction: As ashamed as I was to admit it after his 2009 playoff performance (.349/.462/.674, 4 HR, 13 RBI), I was hoping that this would be Matsui’s last year. Sure, he was the 2009 World Series MVP, but how long can those knees hold up? From 2005-2009, he missed an average of 52 games per season while averaging only 16 home runs per season. His numbers last year were nice, but the Yankees showed this offseason that youth was more important.
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: Strictly a DH against right-handed pitchers with Jorge Posada or Marcus Thames handling the duty against southpaws.

Melky Cabrera – CF
2009 Stats: 154 games, .274/.336/.416, 13 HR, 68 RBI
2010 Stats: 58 games, .249/.316/.318, 1 HR, 14 RBI
Departed: December 22, 2009 – Traded with Arodys Vizcaino, Michael Dunn and cash for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez.
Reaction: I don’t think the Braves knew what they were getting into with this trade. With six years of Major League experience, Melky Cabrera has shown that he is a very average ballplayer, with career splits of .268/.330/.379. Casual fans will argue for his clutch hitting (3 walk-off hits) and hitting for the cycle in 2009, but his WAR in 2010 is -0.2, while Brett Gardner has a WAR of 2.1. The best part? The Braves are paying the Melk Man $3.1 million dollars in 2010, while the Yankees are paying Brett Gardner less than most luxury box chefs ($452K).
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: The first outfielder off the bench behind Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher. Given the injuries, he would have been useful, but not at the price of losing Javier Vazquez, who is really heating up.

Eric Hinske – Util
2009 Stats (with Yankees): 39 games, .226/.316/.512, 7 HR, 14 RBI
2010 Stats: 50 games, .312/.382/.541, 4 HR, 23 RBI
Departed: January 5, 2010 – Signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves (1 year / $1M)
Reaction: A mid-season pick up for the Yankees, he proved to be a valuable asset as a pinch-hitter and a utility player (played 3B, RF, and LF). However, he didn’t have a guaranteed spot in New York and has gotten significant playing time in the resurgent Atlanta Braves. The thing I miss the most about Eric? Obviously, it is John Sterling’s calls of his home runs (Hinske With His Best Shot!).
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: A pinch-hitter and occasional DH off the bench.

Jerry Hairston Jr. – Util
2009 Stats (with Yankees): 45 games, .237/.352/.382, 2 HR, 12 RBI
2010 Stats: 55 games, .230/.278./.311, 3 HR, 20 RBI
Departed: January 18, 2010 – Signed as a free agent with the San Diego Padres (1 year / $2.125M)
Reaction: Jerry Hairston Jr. will certainly be missed for his versatility (he played every position except pitcher, catcher, and 1B), but he wanted a full-time gig in 2010. He’s doing the same thing in San Diego, with a majority of his starts coming at shortstop.
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: the first guy off the bench for an injury replacement in the infield, while Ramiro Pena would be where he belongs in AAA.

Jose Molina – C
2009 Stats: 52 games, .217/.292/.268, 1 HR, 11 RBI
2010 Stats: 20 games, .288/.373/.327, 0 HR, 4 RBI
Departed: February 19, 2010 – Signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays (1 year / $800K)
Reaction: Although I believe he was overrated and overpaid (Jose made $2.1M last year on the Yanks), Jose Molina was nonetheless a necessity during the late-season games. He kept Jorge Posada fresh, and was a force behind the plate defensively. For reasons that I’m not aware of, Jose Molina and A.J. Burnett just clicked. He caught seven of A.J’s last eight starts, and Burnett went 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA. On the season, A.J. Burnett allowed a batting average of .221 when Molina was catching and .270 when Posada was catching. So why isn’t he back? The Yankees already have too many catchers, at the major and minor league level.
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: battling Francisco Cervelli for playing time while carrying A.J. Burnett’s luggage. Also, Chad Moeller would be perusing the classifieds.

Johnny Damon – LF
2009 Stats: 143 games, .282/.365/.489, 24 HR, 82 RBI, 107 R
2010 Stats: 59 games, .287/.385/.426, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 40 R
Departed: February 22, 2010 – Signed as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers (1 year, $8M)
Reaction: Talk about going from the enemy, to beloved, back to the enemy. He tried to play hardball this winter, and possibly cost himself money. The Yankees were interested in signing him, but only at a reasonable price (not $8M a year). Instead, he was replaced by Curtis Granderson, a much younger, faster, quicker… you get it, a better player. I’m not sure how other Yankee fans will remember Damon, but I will remember him as a 2009 World Series Champion. However, he did have a dark faze in his life.
If he were on the 2010 Yanks, he would be: batting behind Derek Jeter and playing DH. The problem would be that Jorge Posada would have to sit on days when he can’t catch, which is often. Oh well, the Yankees could have found someone for less than $8M a year to hit three home runs…

Well, there they are. Do you wish you could have any back for the 2010 campaign? Or do you feel comfortable with the Yankee team we have now?