Let’s go back in time, shall we?
The year is 2008, and the New York Yankees are coming off of their worst season in over a decade – missing the playoffs for the first time since 1995. It was also the final season that the Yankees would play in the old Yankee Stadium. After a disappointing season, and the aura of playing in a new stadium hanging over the team, management decided to make a splash in free agency.
In December of the 2008 offseason, the Yankees announced that they had signed Mark Teixeira, who was one of the most prized free agents on the market. Because of this signing, the Yankees were forced to give a draft pick to the Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 draft. While nobody really thought anything of the draft pick loss at the time, it looms large now-a-days because of who the Angels picked.
With the pick, the Angels selected a player who would ultimately be a star in the majors just three years later. They picked a player who would be in the MVP discussion – a player who would draw comparisons to some of the game’s greatest players of all time.
This player was Mike Trout.
Trout was drafted with the 25th pick that year by the Angels, who had received that spot after Teixeira signed with the Yankees. The Yankees had really wanted Trout too, and planned to take him when they picked just four spots later. However they had to settle for Slade Heathcott instead.
If the Yankees did end up with Trout, things would be different in Yankee-land.
First off, the Yankees would have had a very young and talented player under their control for many years. This would have helped them with their payroll conundrum that they seem to be so adamant about. If the Yankees had Trout, who knows if they would have traded for Curtis Granderson in the 2009 offseason – parting with Austin Jackson who has bloomed to be one of the better center fielders in baseball. With Trout, the Yankees would not have to worry about losing a player such as Alex Rodriguez and the potential offense that he could bring to the table if he were healthy. There are so many things that could have been different if the Yankees landed the young star – but it was not meant to be.
Of course it is easy to say that hindsight is 20/20, but it really would have been nice for the Yankees to have Trout instead of Teixeira right now. I’m sure there are Yankee fans out there who can not help but agree.