Look up a Yankees roster from the last 10 years. Find a random player who you had completely forgotten about. See what they’re doing now. There’s a decent chance they’re playing in one of the Caribbean winter leagues.
The winter leagues are a fixture of the MLB offseason, and feature a bunch of former or current major leaguers. For obvious reasons, there’s not exactly a ton of stars. In looking through this year’s rosters, the most notable names are probably Willians Astudillo and Daniel Norris.
As you might expect, the rosters include a number of “ghosts of the Yankees’ past.” Shockingly, uh, not a lot of them are doing that great.
Perhaps the funniest combination of former Yankees are on the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League. Both Jesus Montero and Vincente Campos play together, after having been traded for each other in one of the most famous Yankee deals in recent memory.
Both spent parts of the 2018 season outside of major league organizations. Campos had an ERA over 5 with the Sugar Land Skeeters, while Montero had a .731 OPS in the Mexican League, which if you were wondering, is lower than Ramiro Pena.
As for how the two of them are doing in winter ball: also not great. Campos has allowed six runs and 16 hits in 8.1 innings, while Montero is being out OPSed by Alejandro De Aza.
Elsewhere in the Venezuelan league are former Yankee pitchers Dietrich Enns, Jonathan Albaladejo and catcher Gustavo Molina. If you’re wondering if Molina became a better hitter since his very brief stint with the Yankees, the answer is no.
Brand new Yankee acquisition Hanser Alberto is playing for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, and is hitting .364/.432/.500. Clearly, he will keep that up. Good acquisition, Cash.
Elsewhere in the Dominican League on the Estrellas de Oriente is Mike Zagurski. That’s right, this guy is playing in the Caribbean:
Another weird one on a Dominican League team is Preston Claiborne, while Santo Domingo-born Esmil Rogers playing there is a little more understandable. Rogers has actually been good in the years since he played for the Yankees, when he was ritually sacrificed during the 19-inning game against the Red Sox in 2015.
If I told you that Luis Cruz and Rico Noel were teammates on the 2013 Yankees, you would believe me. They weren’t because Noel was on the 2015 Yankees, but luckily they are teammates now for the Tomateros de Culiacan in the Mexican Winter League. When they play the Yaquis de Obregon, they will face off against another Yankee who should have been on the team in 2013: Eury Perez, who split the difference and was on the 2014 Yankees.
The final player we’ll spotlight is the one, the only, the legend: Sergio Mitre. He has a 9.77 ERA and a 2.170 WHIP. Sounds about right.
Always fun when i get to throw a baseball!!#beaplaymaker#mitreallstars#humbleloud pic.twitter.com/UozqpoQODx— Sergio Mitre (@sergiomitresam) February 22, 2017