Last Updated on October 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm by Esteban Quiñones
The New York Yankees had several former players selected in the inaugural Baseball United Draft, which aimed to complete the rosters of four teams competing in a new league based in Dubai. These teams are known as the Cobras, the Monarchs, the Wolves, and the Falcons. Notably, the Baseball United league is co-owned by Mariano Rivera, a legendary Yankees closer and Hall of Famer.
Who are they?
Among the prominent former Yankees chosen in the draft was Robinson Canó, an infielder who started his career with the Yankees in 2005 and spent his first nine seasons with the team before moving on to the Seattle Mariners through free agency. During his tenure with the Yankees, Canó achieved several accolades, including finishing as the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2005, earning five All-Star selections, claiming five Silver Slugger awards, and securing two Gold Gloves. He compiled impressive statistics with a .309 batting average, 204 home runs, and 822 RBIs while wearing the iconic pinstripes. Over his extensive 17-year career, which included stints with the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Atlanta Braves, Canó maintained a .301 batting average, with 335 home runs and 1,306 RBIs.
Another notable selection was Didi Gregorius, who played for the Yankees for five seasons and held a .269 batting average with 97 home runs and 360 RBIs. Gregorius began his Major League journey with the Cincinnati Reds and also had stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pitcher Bartolo Colón, who is now 50 years old, was also among the players chosen. Colón achieved an impressive 247 career victories across his 21-year career in Major League Baseball, but he only played for the Yankees during the 2011 season when he posted an 8-10 record with a 4.00 ERA.
The draft also included selections like David Huff, who pitched for the Yankees during the 2013-14 seasons, and Brandon Laird, who appeared in 11 games for the Yankees in 2011.
The establishment of Baseball United marks a historic milestone, as it becomes the first professional baseball league based in the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. The league is set to host a showcase event in Dubai on November 24-25, featuring two Baseball United All-Star teams competing in a two-game series.
Notably, the league benefits from the involvement of prominent figures from Major League Baseball. In addition to Mariano Rivera, co-owners and board members include former Cincinnati Reds infielder Barry Larkin and former Texas Rangers third baseman Adrián Beltré. Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández also serves as a board member.
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