Did Yankees off-season pick-ups live up to their contracts?

Unless you live under a rock, you know that after the 2008 season the Yankees handed out $423 million between CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira while also trading for Nick Swisher. You also know that all four had good seasons and were major factors in the Yankees World Series run. But did they live up to their 2009 salaries?

Nick Swisher, $5.3 million:

Last November the Yankees got their off-season started with a bang by trading for Nick Swisher, while his value was at it’s lowest following a poor 2008 season. What did the Yankees get? They got a line of .371/.498/.375wOBA, of which the last two were career highs. Swisher also sported solid defense with a -1.2 UZR/150 in right field. Overall, Swisher had a WAR of 3.5. Essentially, he was worth around $16 million, but was paid 1/3 of that price. Between his contract and who the Yankees gave up to get him, talk about a bargain.

CC Sabathia, $14 million:

After inking a deal that will give him $161 million over seven years, Sabathia became the second richest Yankee and the richest pitcher in baseball. While his season wasn’t as good as it was in 2007 or 2008, Sabathia had a good season nonetheless. Over the course of 230 innings, he had a 3.37 ERA, 3.39 FIP, and 3.95 tRA. Moreover, he had a 7.71 K/9, 2.62 BB/9, and 0.70 HR/9. CC had a good season, and then a fantastic postseason. His WAR was 6.0, the third best WAR of his career, and it means that he was worth about $27 million. That’s almost double what he was paid. Not bad.

AJ Burnett, $16.5 million:

Right after the Yankees signed Sabathia, the Yankees inked Burnett to a deal worth $82.5 million over five seasons. Unlike Sabathia, Burnett didn’t have the season people were expecting. He had a 4.04 ERA, 4.33 FIP, and 4.74 tRA, all of which are above his career average. The main reasons for a down season were his BB and HR rates, which were 4.22 and 1.09, respectively. Both rates are not just high, but well above his career average. Despite all that, he still posted a 3.1 WAR, meaning he was worth about $14 million. He was paid more than he earned, but only slightly.

Mark Teixeira, $20 million:

Many people thought Teixeira was not going to be a Yankee, but alas towards the end of December he signed a contract paying him $180 million over eight seasons. After a dissapointing April, Mark turned on the lights and posted a final line of .383/.565/.402wOBA. He also played excellent defense, something New York hasn’t seen from a first basemen in a long time. Teixeira’s WAR was 5.1, so he was worth about $23 million, so essentially he earned just about what he was paid.

In the end, the Yankees made some great signings. Maybe down the road the contracts won’t look so good, but for right now all four moves look brilliant. Every player had a signifcant impact on winning the World Series. In total the Yankees paid those four players $55.8 million. In total, those players were worth about $80 million. Talk about making all the right moves.

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