Although the Yankees did not win a World Series in the 2010s, they won a lot of games and there are some forgotten players fans should have positive feelings about when their names are mentioned.
All of these players are not currently on the Yankees roster. There is a good case for someone like Giancarlo Stanton, but he is currently on the team and does not qualify.
Gardner could return to the team in 2022 as he said he intends to play the season, but he is currently not on the team and qualifies for this list.
Many fans appreciate Gardner, but it is often underestimated how much he has contributed to the team since he was called up in 2008. His best season was in 2010 when he put up 7.4 bWAR. He has accumulated 44.3 bWAR over 14 seasons with the team, which is very respectable.
Adam Warren was on those forgettable middle 2010 teams. But from 2013-2015 Warren was an above average pitcher, posting an ERA+ of 118 or higher in each of those seasons.
A big reason Warren is on this list is because of his role on the 2015 team. Those teams were forgettable but the 2015 season was a fun year to be a Yankees fan. Not much was expected from the team but they were carried on the last legs of some veterans to a Wild Card spot. Warren posted a 124 ERA+ splitting time in between the rotation and the bullpen.
Betances was also part of that 2015 team and led them in bWAR with 3.9, but he was a mainstay in the Yankees bullpen for years. Fans got frustrated at Betances struggling to locate his pitches at times, but he had about as good a five season span a reliever can have from 2014-2018.
Betances was dominant in 2014 and 2015, posting an ERA+’s of 271 and 274. From 2016-2018 he posted a 140 ERA+ or higher.
Granderson missed out on the 2009 championship team, but the Yankees continued to be a contender for the World series through 2012 and he was a big part of it.
Granderson’s first season with the team in 2010 was not his best, but he made a swing adjustment late in the season that led to him being productive down the stretch and for the next two seasons he played in the Bronx. He posted a 142 OPS+ in 2011 and a 114 OPS+ in 2012 with over 40 home runs in both seasons.
The Yankees had the best record in the American League in both of those years, and if the team had won a championship during that time Granderson would be mentioned much more often than he is.
Kuroda was on one World Series contending team in 2012, but was a dependable pitcher for the Yankees in his three seasons with the team. He pitched 199 innings or above and posted an above-average ERA+ in every season with the team.
One of the most memorable playoff games of the decade does not go the Yankees way without Kuroda’s 8.1 IP and 2 ER outing. His outing allowed Raul Ibanez to tie and win the game with two home runs against the Orioles in game three of the 2012 ALDS.
Photo: Jim McIsaac