Mariano Rivera. Derek Jeter. Andy Pettite. Jorge Posada. These are the four members of the Yankees’ legendary Core Four. The four members played several years together and all made their MLB debut in 1995. They won five World Series championships together. Pettite was the first to retire in 2010. Posada retired a year later in 2011. Andy Pettite came out of retirement and played for two more years before retiring alongside Mariano Rivera in 2013. The Captain, Derek Jeter, followed suit in 2014, leaving the Yankees with no members of their legendary Core Four. Since then, the Yankees have been saving money in free agency and instead opting to build their farm system. And now it’s time for a new Yankees generation of the Core Four: 1B Greg Bird, SP Luis Severino, OF Aaron Judge, and SS Jorge Mateo.
Bird and Severino made their debuts this past year in 2015, and Judge and Mateo figure to make their debut some time in 2016. With aging veterans’ contracts coming off the books in the next couple years, like Mark Teixiera, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and C.C. Sabathia, the Yankees will have the financial room to build around their next Core Four. They already have some nice pieces, such as current SS Didi Gregorius, catching prospect Gary Sanchez, OF Aaron Hicks, and possibly the future heir of Rivera’s shoes in reliever Dellin Betances.
One possible target that’s been mentioned several times is Bryce Harper. Harper, at only 23 years of age, just won the 2015 NL MVP and is slated to reach free agency after the 2018 season. He’s rumored to be searching for the biggest free agent contract in MLB history–around $400-$500 million. Regardless of whether the Yankees decide to add to their Core Four, New York will already have an enviable group of young players for years to come.
Possibly all starting for the Bronx Bombers by 2017 or 2018, Bird (who is out for 2016), Judge, Severino, and Mateo could be the next group of Yankees players to take the shoes of Posada, Pettite, Rivera, and Jeter. Do you agree? Are the Yankees on the brink of having a new Core Four (or Five)?