Is the Yankees' farm system close to again cranking out talent for the big club?
No matter how much money George Steinbrenner throws at free agents, he continues to lose sight of the fact that the great Yankees teams of the 90s were led by players such as Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Alfonso Soriano, and Mariano Rivera—for the most part, 100% home-grown Yankees. There are encouraging signs recently however, as general manager Brian Cashman has refused to part with young players Robinson Cano, Eric Duncan, Philip Hughes, and Chien-Ming Wang in trades. Of course if George wanted to deal Cano and Hughes for a quick fix to the starting rotation, he’d have takers to be sure, but it appears he's wising up and listening to his baseball people more these days.
There are signs that the Yankees' farm system is headed in the right direction, and Duncan and Hughes are premium talents that should be ready to contribute by 2008. Athletic high school shortstop C.J. Henry wasn’t the typical Yankees pick when he was drafted in the first round last year. In addition, the team has a number of talented teenage international signings in the lower rungs of the system. Perhaps a few of those will turn out to be helpful in a few years. I think this is a system on the rise.