You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com ยป Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

Yankees WAR Leaders Since 1996

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 24, 2010

How many players have posted 5+ WAR for the Yankees since 1996?

Here's the list of batters -

Rk Player WAR/pos From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Derek Jeter 70.5 1996 2010 22-36 2280 10497 9274 1680 2914 464 60 234 1128 945 37 1561 152 79 47 235 323 85 .314 .385 .453 .838 *6/D
2 Jorge Posada 46.0 1996 2010 24-38 1713 6763 5748 866 1583 365 10 261 1021 897 74 1377 72 1 45 169 20 19 .275 .377 .479 .856 *2/D3
3 Alex Rodriguez 40.9 2004 2010 28-34 1028 4519 3837 748 1137 189 7 268 841 560 50 841 80 0 42 99 124 26 .296 .393 .559 .952 *5/D6
4 Bernie Williams 35.0 1996 2006 27-37 1538 6635 5750 1044 1744 327 35 237 990 803 89 861 25 4 53 174 97 52 .303 .388 .496 .884 *8D/97
5 Robinson Cano 23.9 2005 2010 22-27 894 3732 3481 509 1075 240 20 116 503 186 28 412 29 10 26 113 20 23 .309 .347 .489 .836 *4/D
6 Jason Giambi 21.8 2002 2008 31-37 897 3693 2934 515 764 134 2 209 604 619 38 706 109 0 31 56 9 5 .260 .404 .521 .925 *3D
7 Johnny Damon 15.7 2006 2009 32-35 576 2525 2231 410 636 125 15 77 296 268 3 344 9 7 10 22 93 21 .285 .363 .458 .821 78/D39
8 Hideki Matsui 15.6 2003 2009 29-35 916 3816 3348 536 977 196 11 140 597 416 25 485 19 0 33 81 12 7 .292 .370 .482 .852 *7D/89
9 Paul O'Neill 15.0 1996 2001 33-38 883 3835 3374 499 1001 215 8 122 604 399 25 509 10 0 52 120 72 30 .297 .368 .474 .841 *9/D3
10 Tino Martinez 13.6 1996 2005 28-37 1054 4244 3770 566 1039 189 11 192 739 405 42 546 27 1 41 103 17 10 .276 .347 .484 .831 *3/D
11 Mark Teixeira 10.1 2009 2010 29-30 314 1419 1210 216 332 79 3 72 230 174 15 236 25 0 10 28 2 1 .274 .374 .523 .897 *3/D
12 Gary Sheffield 10.0 2004 2006 35-37 347 1525 1308 243 381 62 1 76 269 183 16 175 20 0 14 33 20 9 .291 .383 .515 .897 *9/D35
13 Scott Brosius 8.1 1998 2001 31-34 540 2129 1901 264 507 105 3 65 282 170 6 327 23 16 19 44 23 15 .267 .331 .428 .759 *5/3897
14 Nick Swisher 7.7 2009 2010 28-29 300 1242 1064 175 287 68 4 58 171 155 2 265 9 6 8 26 1 2 .270 .365 .505 .870 *9/3D781
15 Alfonso Soriano 7.4 1999 2003 23-27 501 2150 2010 326 571 124 10 98 270 91 8 430 29 6 14 23 121 36 .284 .322 .502 .824 *4/65D
16 Bobby Abreu 7.3 2006 2008 32-34 372 1631 1423 260 420 95 9 43 243 190 3 276 5 2 11 30 57 21 .295 .378 .465 .843 *9/D8
17 Chuck Knoblauch 6.6 1998 2001 29-32 539 2478 2127 378 579 103 13 49 202 263 2 245 61 11 16 36 112 37 .272 .366 .402 .768 *47/D
18 Brett Gardner 6.2 2008 2010 24-26 300 994 852 163 228 31 15 8 86 113 1 171 10 14 5 9 86 15 .268 .358 .367 .726 *87/D
19 Melky Cabrera 5.3 2005 2009 20-24 569 2148 1923 250 518 90 12 36 228 171 12 246 14 23 17 49 44 14 .269 .331 .385 .716 *87/9
20 Robin Ventura 5.1 2002 2003 34-35 230 888 748 99 186 30 0 36 135 130 11 163 2 3 5 22 3 1 .249 .359 .433 .792 *5/34D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/24/2010.

.

And, here's the list of pitchers -

Rk Player WAR From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF IBB HBP BK WP BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ SH SF 2B 3B GDP SB CS PO
1 Mariano Rivera 52.8 1996 2010 26-40 959 0 0 0 827 69 52 .570 559 1083.0 816 266 244 237 1000 2.03 224 51 4281 34 41 2 12 .206 .257 .280 .537 41 24 21 111 13 76 57 18 4
2 Andy Pettitte 40.1 1996 2010 24-38 374 370 20 3 1 191 103 .650 0 2360.2 2505 1158 1041 757 1709 3.97 114 196 10092 27 45 9 46 .274 .330 .397 .727 89 73 61 460 42 273 149 69 73
3 Mike Mussina 30.3 2001 2008 32-39 249 248 12 8 0 123 72 .631 0 1553.0 1565 723 669 318 1278 3.88 115 166 6392 14 38 0 32 .262 .302 .405 .708 85 33 37 317 19 131 100 57 2
4 Roger Clemens 20.4 1999 2007 36-44 175 174 3 2 0 83 42 .664 0 1103.0 1044 536 491 398 1014 4.01 114 116 4684 8 41 1 50 .249 .318 .389 .707 84 25 25 206 17 81 126 39 11
5 Orlando Hernandez 17.7 1998 2004 32-38 139 136 8 2 1 61 40 .604 1 876.1 780 410 386 304 703 3.96 116 114 3683 8 38 2 21 .236 .306 .397 .703 82 13 29 157 16 36 83 37 2
6 David Wells 16.4 1997 2003 34-40 124 123 19 9 0 68 28 .708 0 851.2 886 396 369 139 557 3.90 114 98 3533 2 20 0 17 .266 .298 .421 .718 87 21 17 193 15 58 58 24 9
7 David Cone 16.3 1996 2000 33-37 132 131 6 1 0 55 38 .591 0 823.0 747 389 359 351 799 3.93 118 86 3526 8 41 4 42 .242 .325 .382 .707 82 19 25 156 10 45 90 33 1
8 Chien-Ming Wang 10.9 2005 2009 25-29 109 104 4 1 3 55 26 .679 1 670.2 701 324 310 197 310 4.16 107 41 2817 10 21 2 21 .272 .328 .382 .709 86 11 13 137 11 99 50 28 0
9 Ramiro Mendoza 10.3 1996 2005 24-33 278 57 2 2 56 54 34 .614 16 699.2 768 349 319 154 414 4.10 112 69 2992 18 29 2 12 .278 .320 .420 .740 91 22 26 158 13 72 35 11 1
10 CC Sabathia 9.7 2009 2010 28-29 68 68 4 1 0 40 15 .727 0 467.2 406 188 170 141 394 3.27 131 38 1908 13 16 1 13 .235 .296 .358 .654 74 9 17 81 8 50 28 10 5
11 Mike Stanton 7.7 1997 2005 30-38 456 1 0 0 118 31 14 .689 15 448.1 430 197 188 165 407 3.77 121 35 1905 21 14 3 14 .254 .322 .373 .695 81 15 19 80 8 35 12 12 12
12 Tom Gordon 6.5 2004 2005 36-37 159 0 0 0 32 14 8 .636 6 170.1 115 48 45 52 165 2.38 185 13 666 9 1 1 4 .191 .255 .307 .562 48 6 5 25 3 13 5 2 1
13 Randy Johnson 5.8 2005 2006 41-42 67 67 6 0 0 34 19 .642 0 430.2 401 227 209 107 383 4.37 100 60 1780 3 22 3 6 .246 .300 .412 .711 85 11 12 77 6 26 44 24 5
14 Jeff Nelson 5.7 1996 2003 29-36 331 0 0 0 86 23 19 .548 9 311.0 260 135 120 172 334 3.47 136 19 1363 22 21 1 17 .228 .337 .343 .680 75 19 10 58 8 18 47 7 1
15 Dwight Gooden 5.4 1996 2000 31-35 67 53 1 1 3 24 14 .632 2 341.1 351 190 177 162 223 4.67 103 41 1502 8 16 1 18 .268 .353 .425 .778 98 4 9 73 5 28 37 13 10
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/24/2010.

.

So, a case can be made that Derek Jeter's contribution to the Yankees, during the time he's been in the majors, is greater than any other player on the team during that time - collectively speaking. Seeing this, it sort of seems like a shame to have his current contract talks with New York be as nasty as they appear to be heading. Granted, this is all the past and means nothing towards Jeter's future productivity.

It's hard to believe that the next record that Jeter will break, before the 3,000th career hit mark, could be Neil Sedaka's...

...but, that's the beauty of baseball: Anything is possible.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 11:18 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

30 Responses to “Yankees WAR Leaders Since 1996”

  1. For the purpose of this stat, how do you calculate oWBA?

  2. I think it also says that pitchers, over the long haul, have been far more important to the Yanks.

  3. Of course, Jeter's had far more PA than any batter on this list.

    In terms of WAR per Plate Appearance, A-Rod outpaces everyone on this list by a ridiculously wide margin.

  4. Tom Gordon????

    Only 1 spot behind Mike Stanton and AHEAD of Jeff Nelson????

    He has the second best ERA+ (behind Mariano Rivera). I guess all of his hits/runs came at bad times (or seemed like it anyway).

    Sometimes stats make me feel like I've never seen a game in my life.

  5. Can you do this list for every team? Would be interesting.

  6. There's a thing on Yahoo Sports about the guys the Yanks have let go late in their careers, in one form or another. Babe Ruth, Lefty Gomez, Yogi Berra, Red Ruffing, Ellie Howard, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson. This goes back 75 years. Another great Yankee tradition. This shouldn't really surprise us.

  7. Ventura was a very underrated player. He was a great glove man that should have won 8 GG, and he could hit for power and had very good on-base ability.

    His 2002 with the Yankees is kind of overlooked, but he had a 119ops+ with 27 HR and a .368 on base percentage to with above average defense at third. I'm not sure why the Yankees traded him in 2003.

  8. Joe Garrison Says:

    Boy oh boy... this sure is getting a lot of play in the national media.

    There is no way he is leaving the Yankees. There's a zero chance of that happening.

    Look for a personal services contract to be drawn up... like the one Magic Johnson signed with the Lakers near the end. That one was what, 25 years and 25 million dollars or something like that. There was no indication of when he would stop playing, only that he wasn't leaving the family.

    Never go against the family Fredo....

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Tmckelv, I actually felt like Gordon was the Yankees best reliever in 2004. He didn't pitch well in the postseason, and maybe that's what you're remembering, but I thought he was just awesome during the regular season. And quite good in '05 as well. Of course, he did give up some runs, and almost any runs a setup man or closer allows are going to be at bad times.

  10. @7 Larry,

    Can we please pump the brakes on "Yankee tradition" talk.

    1) Don't forget about Dickey, Dimaggio, Mantle, Ford, Guidry, Mattingly, B.Williams plus numerous others (not to mention possibly Jeter, Mariano, and Posada) playing their entire careers with Yanks. If anything the Yanks have more of that type of player than most (if not all) franchises.

    2) Out of the guys you list most of them started with another organization (which is very different than Jeter's situation). Only Berra (played with Yanks up through 1963, then managed them in 1964, then had 9 PA's with the Mets in 1965) and Gomez (played with the Yanks thru 1942 then pitched 1 game for Washington in 1943) started their careers with the Yanks. While you could say Berra was improperly dumped as manager, that is different from letting him play somewhere else when he still has some reasonably solid playing time left. The Gomez situation I am not sure what happened there exactly, but it doesn't sound like he had much left since he only pitched 1 game in his post Yankee career and if he had retired, he would move to list #1 above.

    3) I don't think the Yankees are the only team with high profile guys that leave toward the end of thier careers (Mays, Aaron, Snider, Rose, etc.) that is why people make such a big deal about players that play for just one team (which the Yanks have plenty).

  11. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Meanwhile, it's funny how Yankee fans always seem to fondly remember Jeff Nelson, but at the time he often drove us (and Torre) crazy with bouts of wildness. I guess it all comes down to what their teams did, not necessarily what they did.

  12. @10 JT,

    I am sure you are right...as a Yankee fan, 2004 was a bad year for any player to not perform in the post season (fond memory-wise) - I am sure it has clouded my judgement over time.

  13. Yes, Nelson was a huge PITA. But the Yanks winning helps his case. Plus that slider was ridiculous...no wonder he fell in love with it. Torre would get so pissed...but I can think about it and laugh now. Unlike Gordon in 2004 post-season. :)

  14. Fleshing out the comment by AndrewYF ...

    (1) Sorting the position players by WAR per 600 PA:

    -- 5.4, A-Rod (2004-10)
    -- 4.3, Mark Teixeira (2009-10)
    -- 4.1, Jorge Posada (1996-2010)
    -- 4.0, Derek Jeter (1996-2010)
    -- 3.9, Gary Sheffield (2004-06)
    -- 3.8, Robinson Cano (2005-10)
    -- 3.7, Brett Gardner (2008-10)
    -- 3.7, Johnny Damon (2006-09)
    -- 3.7, Nick Swisher (2009-10)
    -- 3.5, Jason Giambi (2002-08)

    (2) Jeter's annual rank among Yankees' WAR leaders:

    -- 1996, 9th (tied), 2.6 (Pettitte was #1 at 5.7)
    -- 1997, 5th, 2.7 (Pettitte 7.6)
    -- 1998, 1st, 7.8
    -- 1999, 1st, 8.0
    -- 2000, 4th, 4.4 (Posada 5.7)
    -- 2001, 4th, 4.3 (Mussina 6.5)
    -- 2002, 7th (3-way tie), 3.4 (Giambi 7.3)
    -- 2003, 9th, 2.9 (Mussina 6.2)
    -- 2004, 2nd, 5.6 (A-Rod 6.2)
    -- 2005, 2nd, 5.5 (A-Rod 8.4)
    -- 2006, 1st, 6.3
    -- 2007, 4th, 4.6 (A-Rod 9.9)
    -- 2008, 7th, 2.7 (A-Rod 5.4)
    -- 2009, 1st, 6.5
    -- 2010, 13th, 1.3 (Cano 6.1)

    Out of 15 seasons, Jeter has four 1sts, two 2nds, three 4ths, one 5th, two 7ths, two 9ths, and one 13th (this year).

    I think the combination of (1) and (2) gives a better picture of Jeter's on-field value to the Yankees, both in the past and going forward.

  15. @11
    I don't think @7 was saying that the Yankees were particularly egregious at dumping their old stars, he was just noting that they weren't as loyal as you might think either.

    Bernie Williams is a questionable example. He took an enormous pay cut for his final season. No "he helped us win four rings" bonus for him.

    Phil Rizzuto was dumped in mid-season to make room for the re-acquired Enos Slaughter. Sure, Rizzuto was washed up, but he felt very bitter about it at the time and he often talked about how someone convinced not to burn any bridges which paid off in the long run as he returned to the franchise as a broadcaster several years later.

    And Mantle, Dimaggio and Mattingly were all retired by the time they were Jeter's age.

    The Yankees play to win. They don't play to trot around a bunch of ambassadors from yesteryear. They want to keep creating history.

    Jeter probably still helps the Yankees win next year, but after that, its debatable. The Yankees have already paid Jeter $205 M for what he's done previously, it'll be fun to see how much more his agent can squeeze out of the franchise for what he's done in the past.

  16. I'm not a Yankees fan, so it's no surprise that I'm already tired of hearing about Jeter's contract negotiations. Despite the recent tone of the talks, it still seems all but certain that he will remain in pinstripes. But it would be quite a story if he signed elsewhere.

    I don't doubt that Jeter deserves his iconic stature with the Yankees; he does seem to have been pretty close to the ideal teammate. But there's one thing I've often wondered about:

    In the years between 2001 and 2009, Jeter was often asked if the 4 titles they had won gave the club extra confidence going into a stretch drive or postseason, or if he thought opponents were still intimidated by the Yanks. He usually replied to the effect of "this group hasn't won anything," alluding to the replacement of David Cone, Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, Chuck Knoblauch and Scott Brosius from 2001-02 and, later, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Bernie Williams, etc.

    This was always construed in the media as Jeter being both humble and realistic. But I wonder how those quotes went over with the likes of David Wells, Mike Mussina, Alfonso Soriano, Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, A-Rod, Gary Sheffield, etc. -- stars who weren't part of the 1996-2000 stretch -- as well as the role players. I can imagine that some would have preferred that Jeter downplay the roster turnover and even try to prolong the sense of "mystique and aura" that seemed such a big part of those championship years.

  17. How did Orlando Hernandez end up ahead of Wells? In 25 fewer innings, Wells had more wins, a better winning pct., a lower ERA, less than half as many walks, more complete games, and more shutouts. I also can't recall people arguing at the time that Hernandez was more valuable.

    Just seems strange.

  18. I like how people often say athletes are overpaid and even more often say the Yankees spend too much money, but when the Yankees don't immediately roll over for the current, but fading face of the franchise, choosing to offer him a reasonable contract at a reasonable length, the Yankees are mishandling things again. If it's a contract negotiation and the Yankees are involved, they're always at fault, right?

    3/$45M is enough. He doesn't deserve a dime or year more.

  19. Didn't the Cardinals trade Neil Sedaka for Orlando Cepeda, then Cepeda for Joe Torre, then Torre for Sedaka?

  20. Did many of Sedaka's hits lead to HR's?

  21. DoubleDiamond Says:

    In honor of the other Neil who graduated Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn (the one who doesn't get played in the 8th inning at Fenway):

    "Laughter in the Rain Delays"

    Disneyland's song: "Living Right Next Door to the Angels"

    Ted Williams in the twilight of his career singing to the only guy who ever pinch hit for him: "Oh Carroll" (Hardy)

    Players on a team that doesn't pay much: "Love Won't Keep Us Together"

    And on October 21, Whitey Ford's birthday, "Happy Birthday, Number 16"

  22. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Al Luplow has something in common with Neil Sedaka. It's the same thing that Joe Pepitone has in common with John Lennon.

  23. @ 23: Same birthdate?

  24. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Al Luplow has something in common with Neil Sedaka. It's the same thing that Joe Pepitone has in common with John Lennon.

    Often photographed in cardigans?

  25. DoubleDiamond Says:

    @24 - Yes, March 13, 1939. It's also one of those rare multiplication dates: 3x13=39.

    A sampling of other players born on such dates:

    Mike Baxter born on 12/7/84
    Bobby Ramos born on 11/5/55
    Tim Unroe born on 10/7/70
    Steve Macko born on 9/6/54
    Jeff Zimmerman and Dusty Allen born on 8/9/72
    Javier Lopez (the pitcher) born on 7/11/77
    Jesus Guzman born on 6/14/84
    Steve Woodard born on 5/15/75
    Zach Kroenke born on 4/21/84
    Brian Slocum born on 3/27/81
    Dennis Kinney born on 2/26/52
    Ernie Banks born on 1/31/31

    Most of these are guys I've never heard of. That Banks guy's name sounds somewhat familiar, though. Jeff Zimmerman was selected as an All-Star one year based on his work as a long reliever, not a common selection criteria for an All-Star. He only played in the majors for three years, though.

  26. Even if it's not the same history, I wouldn't mind seeing something like this with Jayson Werth & the Phillies

  27. How many are required to become a "true Yankee"?

  28. #25 Tuna,

    Nice!

  29. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    those rare multiplication dates: 3x13=39

    Even rarer are the "perfect square" birthdates. (I know because I have one.) I count five of these in big-league history:

    Toad Ramsey, 8/8/1864
    Mickey Owen and Willie "The Knuck" Ramsdell, 4/4/1916
    Johnny Rutherford, 5/5/1925
    Tim Nordbrook, 7/7/1949

    Sweet sassy molassey, can Double Diamond and I derail a topic or what?