In the first two parts of this series we covered the first 15 Yankees to win a Gold Glove award. Some of those players absolutely deserved the honor while other winners made far less sense in hindsight. In general, there has been a common theme in Gold Glove award voting where players win the award after putting up gaudy offensive numbers, regardless of what they did in the field (see Rafael Palmeiro in 1999). As backwards as that thinking is, we'll see that the trend has continued in the conclusion of this series.
Bernie Williams - OF - 1997 through 2000
Bernie was a steady, if unspectacular, fielder over the first five seasons of his career while his offensive game developed. By 1996 he broke out as an offensive star but his work in the field began to significantly deteriorate. Of course, that's when the Gold Gloves started to pile up for him. He won four straight despite costing the Yankees about 40 runs with his glove over that time frame according to Total Zone (as reported by Baseball Reference).
Scott Brosius - 3B - 1999
After a career year and a postseason for the ages during the magical 1998 Yankee season, Brosius became something of a cult hero in Yankees Universe. The added recognition certainly helped him earn a Gold Glove a year later, but in this case it was probably deserved. Advanced defensive metrics rank him among the best third basemen in the AL in 1999 as the Yankees cruised to another World Series title.
Mike Mussina - P - 2001, 2003 & 2008
The brilliance of Mike Mussina is often lost on a casual fan. His vast repertoire and methodical command of the strike zone meant that he didn't have one great pitch but many very good ones. That methodical approach translated to his fielding prowess as well. Rarely making a misstep or an errant throw he was among the best fielding pitchers of his generation. He won three of his seven career Gold Gloves in pinstripes.
Derek Jeter - SS - 2004 through 2006, 2009 & 2010
You may have gotten the memo by now that Derek Jeter was not a very good fielder. According to Total Zone he cost the Yankees a whopping 182 runs in the field over the course of his career. What's most amazing about his five Gold Gloves is that he won them all after turning 30 years old. At that point his already poor range was almost non-existent, so virtually all of these can be considered lifetime achievement awards.
Mark Teixeira - 1B - 2009, 2010, & 2012
In 2009, Yankee fans were delighted to see a competent first baseman in the Bronx after years of watching Jason Giambi struggle with the position. During his Yankee tenure Teixeira's range has been average at best, but he may just have the surest hands in the league. With a seemingly healthy and resurgent Teixeira back in the fold, we could see another Gold Glove or two in the near future for him.
Robinson Cano - 2B - 2010 & 2012
It's often said of great fielders that they can make extremely difficult plays look easy. Watching Robinson Cano play second base is pretty much the opposite of that. He can spice up even the most routine of plays. Despite this he was a solid fielder throughout his career in pinstripes after some early struggles. His two Gold Gloves were no doubt helped by the fact that he was recognized as one of the best hitters in the league, but there was at least some defensive merit to them.