Last week I took a stab at putting together the Yankees all-time 25-man roster, and it led to quite a bit of strong discussion. The team's history is littered with brilliant players, so it was all but impossible to proceed without leaving off (at least) a few literal Hall of Famers, and much of the debate focused on that. However, Mean Mr. Mustard wondered what the team's worst historical 25-man roster would look like, and I found that infinitely more interesting ... and so here we are.
In the interest of time (and my own sanity), I'm going to limit my search to position players with at least 500 PA as a Yankee, starting pitchers with a minimum of 100 IP, and relievers with 50-plus IP. I'm going to throw out regulars, but I will still focus on building a "modern" roster (that is, two catchers, seven relievers, etc).
And away we go.
Walter Blair (1907-1911)
Blair hit .196/.251/.249 with the Yankees (50 OPS+), accumulating -0.6 bWAR in 652 PA.
Joel Skinner (1986-1988)
Despite having the superior OPS+ - 51 - Skinner was worse than Blair, tying his -0.6 bWAR as a Yankee in 52 fewer PA.
Babe Dahlgren (1937-1940)
Dahlgren was Lou Gehrig's replacement (in name only, of course), and he spent two seasons as the team's everyday first baseman. He posted a 78 OPS+ and -0.6 bWAR in his time in the Bronx.
Stephen Drew (2014-2015)
It seems like just yesterday that Drew was holding down the keystone for the Yankees, hovering around replacement-level and leading us to cry for Rob Refsnyder. His -0.2 bWAR with the team feels a bit high, doesn't it?
Eduardo Nunez (2010-2013)
Nunez with the Yankees: 88 OPS+, -1.6 bWAR (827 PA). Nunez after the Yankees: 100 OPS+, 4.1 bWAR (1012 PA).
Rafael Santana (1988)
Santana hit .240/.289/.294 (65 OPS+) in his lone season in the Bronx, contributing -0.6 bWAR as the team's everyday shortstop.
Johnny Sturm (1941)
Sturm played just one season in the Majors, starting 123 games at first base for the World Series champs. He hit .239/.293/.300 (58 OPS+), and was two wins below replacement along the way.
Enrique Wilson (2001-2004)
Wilson will hold a special place in our hearts forever, as he hit .364/.382/.485 against Pedro Martinez. He also hit .216/.261/.332 (56 OPS+) as a Yankee, and produced -3.0 bWAR due to his awful hitting and subpar glovework.
Cedric Durst (1927-1930)
Durst was dealt to the Red Sox (along with $50,000) for Red Ruffing, and that was the extent of his usefulness to the Yankees.
Hensley Meulens (1989-1993)
In addition to having a plus-plus name (his full name is Hensley Filemon Acasio Meulens), Meulens produced -1.5 bWAR in pinstripes.
Bill Robinson (1967-1969)
Robinson hit just .206/.264/.318 with the Yankees, producing -2.0 bWAR in 351 games. He was surprisingly good after leaving the Bronx, though, posting a 111 OPS+ from 1972 through 1983.
Gary Ward (1987-1989)
Ward posted a 113 OPS+ in his first five full seasons, averaging 3.6 bWAR per year. The Yankees signed him away from the Rangers after that, and received a 78 OPS+ and -0.9 bWAR for their troubles.
Ruben Sierra (1995-1996, 2003-2005)
I remembered Sierra being fairly good with the Yankees, largely due to his strong postseason performance (specifically his clutch 3-run home run in game four of the 2004 ALDS). It turns out that my memory is a liar, though, as Sierra hit just .254/.310/.421 (88 OPS+) in New York, with -1.5 bWAR in parts of five seasons.
Chris Capuano (2014-2015)
Capuano split his time between the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx, and he was slightly less bad as a starter, posting a 5.13 ERA in 79 IP. All told, he was worth -0.9 bWAR in his time with the Yankees.
Andy Hawkins (1989-1991)
Hawkins pitched what may have been the worst no-hitter ever in 1990, taking the loss thanks to 5 walks and a slew of errors. He also had almost as many walks (164) as strikeouts (177) with the Yankees, as well as -2.4 bWAR.
Jeff Johnson (1991-1993)
Johnson has the lowest ERA+ (63) of any pitcher to throw over 100 IP for the Yankees (he had 182.1 IP). He put up -2.5 bWAR, to boot.
Terry Mulholland (1994)
Mulholland managed -1.0 bWAR in his lone season in New York, thanks to a 71 OPS+ in 120.2 IP.
Jeff Weaver (2002-2003)
My memory fooled me again, as I thought Weaver was substantially worse with the Yankees than his 83 ERA+ and 1.2 bWAR would suggest. There are worse starters in the team's history, but his inclusion feels like a must, given his postseason failures.
Jonathan Albaladejo (2008-2010)
Albaladejo wasn't that bad for the Yankees, pitching to a 4.70 ERA (97 ERA+) in parts of three seasons. However, as was the case with Weaver, I feel that he belongs here, considering that he was acquired in exchange for Tyler Clippard (who has a 143 ERA+ since said trade).
Sean Henn (2005-2007)
I seem to recall Henn being a big deal as a prospect, but I can't find much to support that. My recollection of his awfulness was far more accurate, to the tune of a 60 ERA+ and -1.2 bWAR.
Shawn Kelley (2013-2014)
Kelley has been excellent since leaving the Bronx, but that doesn't wipe away his 88 ERA+ and -0.1 bWAR in pinstripes.
Cuddles Marshall (1946-1949)
Marshall got Ted Williams to ground into a double play in his Major League debut, and it was all downhill from there. He had a 71 ERA+ and -1.4 bWAR with the Yankees.
Lou McEvoy (1930-1931)
McEvoy managed to produce -1.8 bWAR in just 64.2 IP, thanks to a 55 ERA+ and nearly two baserunners per inning.
Sergio Mitre (2009-2011)
Mitre was better than you remember in 2010, posting a 130 ERA+ and 0.9 bWAR in 54 IP. However, he was a Yankee for parts of two additional season, which drag his totals with the team down to an 84 ERA+ and -0.6 bWAR.
Esmil Rogers (2014-2015)
The Yankees tried to make Rogers a thing over parts of two seasons, and it simply never worked. He pitched in Korea last year, after posting a 72 ERA+ and -0.9 bWAR in pinstripes.