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This Day in Yankees History: Free agents sign, free agents leave

The Yankees signed A.J. Burnett on this day in 2008, while Robinson Canó officially departed five years later.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the offseason well underway, the Pinstripe Alley team has decided to continue the revived program in its new format. These daily posts will highlight two or three key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!

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This Day in Yankees History (December 12)

98 years ago

We’re going waaaaay back for this one. On this day in 1922, Jacob Ruppert bought out his partner, Colonel “Til” Huston, to take full control of the Yankees franchise, and the team was fairly successful after that, to say the least. The franchise won its first World Series the following season after opening the doors to the original Yankee Stadium, and went on to win three more pennants that decade. Ruppert passed away in 1939 after assembling what would become the most dominant franchise in sports.

12 years ago

The Yankees continued to flex their financial muscle on this day in 2008, agreeing to terms on a five-year, $82.5 million contract with free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett, joining a revamped pitching staff that also included newcomer CC Sabathia. Burnett struggled at times throughout his deal with the Yankees, finishing his pinstriped tenure with a 4.79 ERA in three seasons, but at least Yankees fans will always have his huge performance in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series.

7 years ago

The Mariners officially welcomed their huge free agent acquisition in Robinson Canó on this day in 2013, after offering the star second baseman a monster $240 million deal that the Yankees didn’t come close to matching. Of course, multiple PED suspensions have watered down the argument that the Yanks should have done more to keep their superstar infielder, but the money the Yanks didn’t use on Canó went to Jacoby Ellsbury, so there’s that.

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No notable Yankee birthdays today, but let’s all wish a big Happy Birthday to Ervin Santana! You will always be welcomed back at Yankee Stadium, especially if you will continue to produce moments like this:

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We thank Baseball Reference and for providing background information for these posts.