For almost two decades, the Yankees have shown an occasional tendency to wait too long to address situations with underachieving players. Whether they were homegrown products or free-agent signings, New York, as we know, likes to see its decisions through.
For validation? To maintain the status quo? To avoid instilling a hasty thought process? Who knows, but the Yankees typically wait it out and it typically frustrates the fans.
We have some very recent examples, as well as others from previous decades that might ring a bell. We apologize in advance for opening up any old wounds. Not our intention.
But there’s no question the Yanks made a mistake by acquiring players who did not pan out or permitting players to occupy a particular position on the field for far too long.
4. Carl Pavano (2005-08)
Following the disappointing 2004 season, the Bronx Bombers wanted to significantly improve their starting rotation. As a result, they signed Carl Pavano to a four-year, $39.95 million contract. They expected him to be their No. 2 starter behind Mike Mussina.
The righty won 18 games and earned a career-best 3.00 ERA for the Florida Marlins in 2004. Before then, however, he was only 39-50 with a 4.59 ERA across five years with the Marlins and Montreal Expos.
Pavano wasted no time showing the Yanks that his acquisition was a blunder. Pavano was put on the injury list with shoulder trouble in June 2005 and finished 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA in 17 starts. Then he bruised his behind (nope, we are not joking!) in spring training the following year. He also was involved in a car accident and missed the entire 2006 season.
Still, he was selected as the Opening Day starter in 2007. After only two starts, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. He ended his Yankee tenure with a 5.77 ERA in seven starts in 2008. Altogether, he made only 26 starts in his four seasons as a man in pinstripes (9-8 with a 5.00 ERA).
The Yanks took a significant risk signing him, and they failed to cut bait during his stint when it was clear this was not going to work out.
Pavano is an example of why MLB teams should never spend a large amount of money on someone who outperformed their overall body of work in a contract year.