Both the Yankees and Mets enjoyed many great players over the last decade, meaning ESNY’s New York baseball all-decade team is stacked.
Both the New York Yankees and Mets employed many great players throughout the last decade while also outputting a varying degree of success. The Mets reached the World Series in 2015 and the Yankees reached the playoffs in seven of the 10 years with back-to-back 100-win seasons.
- Jacob deGrom (RHP)
- CC Sabathia (LHP)
- Noah Syndergaard (RHP)
- Masahiro Tanaka (RHP)
- Luis Severino (RHP)
The rotation features a mix and match of pitchers from Queens and the Bronx. Headlining the starting staff would be Jacob deGrom. One could argue he could make the MLB all-decade pitching staff with how dominant he’s been over the last few years. He leads all New York pitchers in fWAR this decade at a 31.5 clip. His 3.20 SIERA value is the lowest out of all pitchers as well.
Following deGrom is CC Sabathia. The future Hall of Famer called it a career after the 2019 season. He still managed to have above-average values in ERA-, FIP-, xFIP-, and SIERA despite all of the injuries and off-field issues he struggled with over time. A workhorse in his prime, CC would slide into the top of the rotation.
Trailing the formidable front two would be Noah Syndergaard and Masahiro Tanaka. The two have similar WAR values, but Syndergaard has done so in much in fewer innings. His peak is better than Tanaka’s as seen by a lower SIERA, 3.38 for Thor vs 3.59 for Masa. Tanaka’s 4.9% BB% was fourth among all New York starters this decade, but he had a much bigger sample as he worked nearly double the leader in the category, Bartolo Colon. Syndergaard is third in K% and could be at the top of the rotation. Still, a middle-of-the-rotation combination of two potential top 20 pitchers is quite the feat.
The final spot in the rotation could go to several pitchers. I’m choosing to go with Luis Severino, but Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are legitimate choices. I’m choosing Severino due to his potential. His workload isn’t as high as the other two pitchers because he missed all of 2019; however, he’s been better on a rate basis than everyone other than deGrom. He had the third-best K% of the decade and he hasn’t even reached his peak yet. Harvey is a tough choice to leave off with good peripherals and results. If one chooses to go with Harvey over Severino or even Tanaka, that’s an understandable move.
- C: Mariano Rivera (RHP)
- S: David Robertson (RHP)
- S: Aroldis Chapman (LHP)
- M: Dellin Betances (RHP)
- M: Andrew Miller (LHP)
- M: Jeurys Familia (RHP)
- M: Seth Lugo (RHP)
- L: Chad Green (RHP)
This is where the Yankees begin to dominate. Mariano Rivera would obviously make the list as the closer. David Robertson slides into the eighth-inning setup man role. The former setup man for Rivera and master of the Houdini acts, Robertson was excellent during his time with the Yankees. His 23.2% K-BB% was better than Rivera’s.
Newly-signed Met Dellin Betances would also make the bullpen. He had the highest reliever WAR among all relievers in New York. Andrew Miller also makes the list to give the bullpen some lefty balance. He also had an absurd 1.49 SIERA during his time in New York.
Chad Green can work as the swingman and is one of the best relievers of the last few years. Even in a down 2019, he was back to business as usual from late May on.
There’s an obvious name missing from those Yankees, Aroldis Chapman. This is a difficult decision to make. On the field, Chapman has been dominant. Great peripherals with great results. He’s arguably been the best closer of the decade. However, to acknowledge his greatness is at the same time to praise a man who has an issue with domestic violence. It’s a difficult choice, but I will include Chapman on this list. His on-the-field performance puts him on the roster, though I do understand leaving him off.
For the Mets, Jeurys Familia and Seth Lugo will make the list. Familia has been a mainstay of the Mets bullpen as he has the most innings out of any reliever for the Mets this decade. Familia struggled mightily in 2019, but he still had a solid 3.47 SIERA during the decade. Lugo arrived as a dominant force in 2019 and could even be a top 10 reliever in baseball right now. His 3.12 SIERA in his time with the Mets is equal to that of Tommy Kahnle’s with the Yankees. Francisco Rodriguez and Addison Reed are also good choices, but neither are better than any of the eight pitchers listed.
- C: Gary Sanchez (R), Russell Martin (R)
- 1B: Mark Teixeira (S)
- 2B: Robinson Cano (L), Daniel Murphy (L)
- SS: Didi Gregorius (L)
- 3B: David Wright (R)
When breaking down the infield, the Yankees once again begin to showcase some of their best talent. Starting behind the plate, Gary Sanchez would be the starting catcher. His career .354 wOBA, 123 wRC+, and 11.4 fWAR all tops among New York catchers. With plus potential with the glove, as he has shown with positive framing numbers in the past, Sanchez is the most complete catcher among the choices. Russell Martin would take the backup role, and though he wasn’t a great offensive catcher during his time in New York, Martin provided the most defensive value among catchers—an excellent trait for a backup catcher.
Moving to first base, Mark Teixeira assumes the first base role. Plagued by injuries during his time, Tex was still good in New York. He had a 115 wRC+ and had over 40 defensive runs saved.
Robinson Cano is the starting second baseman. Like Teixeira, Cano is really the only choice here. He had more the double the next highest WAR of any second baseman. Daniel Murphy does slide in as a good backup choice with his ability to play 1B and 2B. While he might be a defensive liability at 2B at times, he can be solid at 1B.
David Wright would play 3B for the all-decade team. Wright had more than double the WAR of A-rod at 3B and had a great 128 wRC+ this decade. The shortstop position goes to Didi Gregorius. He was better offensively than Jeter and much better defensively. He did an excellent job of taking over for the captain.
- LF: Brett Gardner (L), Yoenis Cespedes (R)
- CF: Curtis Granderson (L)
- RF: Aaron Judge (R), Michael Conforto (L)
To start in left field, Brett Gardner will take the top spot. I’ve written about how good Gardner is and he had an underrated decade. Curtis Granderson will play center field. He was a good player for both teams and racked up 28.2 fWAR during his time in New York. Aaron Judge will start in right field. Michael Conforto could start here, but considering Judge has put up better offensive and defensive metrics, as well as having a higher WAR in fewer games, he takes the starting job. Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes will be rounding out the roster. Both are great hitters, despite Cespedes’s inability to get on a field in a while, he was a good performer for the Mets.
There’s the New York all-decade team—dominant pitching mixed with offensive firepower and solid outfield defense. There was a lot of talent in New York this past decade, and if this team had an opportunity to do its thing on the diamond, forget about it.