Buster Olney has a piece today on the death of the Yankees. He argues the following if the Yankees go on a spending spree this summer;
"further retard their player development system that was, in the early '90s, the best in the major leagues. A dynasty was born from that, and from that dynasty came the YES Network, support for a new Yankee Stadium -- and an insatiable quest for success that, in the way it was managed, effectively cannibalized the organization. "
At the end of the article he actually lists the picks the Yankees lost and the what the compensation picks netted their former teams. I have excluded the compensation round picks because those are not picks the Yankees would have had if they didn't make the signing;
Johnny Damon - Daniel Bard
Kyle Farnsworth - Robert Fontaine
Carl Pavano-Jacob Marceaux
Jaret Wright-Jeffery Lyman
Paul Quantril- Blake Dewitt
Tom Gordon - Ray Liotte
Jason Giambi- Joe Blanton
Steve Karsay-James Greene
Mike Mussina- Mike Fontenot
David Wells - Darnell McDonald
Mike Stanton - Chris Tynan
So, what did the Yankees really loose out on with these picks? Joe Blanton? It makes for good press to kill the Yankees for spending on free agents but the truth is the Yankees are a lot better off with the FA pickups instead of the picks. Even late first round picks are a crap shoot and a sure thing FA is a much better, and safer investment. However, where the Yankees went wrong was with some of the decisions on who to spend money on not to spend it in the first place.