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Not getting any younger
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - No wonder the economy is in shambles. Ninety-five million dollars are sitting on the Yankees' bench.

Tuesday, Mark Teixeira joined Kevin Youkilis, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez on a disabled list that's earning more than 16 major league teams this season.

Talk about bad luck. I'm starting to wonder if the Bronx Bombers are cursed.

Think about it. Every time the Yankees break the bank for a big-name free agent, it seems to end badly.

Even before Teixeira went on the DL, he was only hitting .151 with 19 strikeouts in 53 at bats. Youkilis, who is set to undergo back surgery on Thursday, has been equally disappointing (.219, 2 HR, 8 RBI).

That's been the pattern in New York over the last decade. Check out these before and after stats for some of the Yankees' biggest free agents since 2002.

Remember, Bobby Abreu, Kevin Brown, Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki, Randy Johnson, Nick Swisher, Rodriguez and Javier Vazquez were all acquired in trades as opposed to signing as free agents.

Batting average before coming to New York:

Eric Chavez: .267 Johnny Damon: .284 Jason Giambi: .308 Travis Hafner: .278 Raul Ibanez: .280 Andruw Jones: .256 Russell Martin: .267 Gary Sheffield: .292 Mark Teixeira: .290 Kevin Youkilis: .283

Batting average while in New York:

Chavez: .274 (+7) Damon: .285 (+1) Giambi: .260 (-48) Hafner: .221 (-57) Ibanez: .240 (-40) Jones: .220 (-36) Martin: .211 (-56) Sheffield: .291 (-1) Teixeira: .260 (-30) Youkilis: .219 (-64)

That's an average drop-off of more than 32 points.

The pitchers New York has signed over that span have also been hit or miss.

ERA before New York

A.J. Burnett: 3.81 Bartolo Colon: 4.01 Carl Pavano: 4.22 CC Sabathia: 3.66

ERA with New York

Burnett: 4.79 (+.98) Colon: 4.00 (-.01) Pavano: 5.00 (+.78) Sabathia: 3.29 (-.37)

Sure there have been a few outliers. Sabathia has been great during his time with the Yankees, while Damon and Sheffield enjoyed similar success when they wore pinstripes. But mostly, New York's free agents have underachieved on a grand scale.

So why exactly does this keep happening? Is it the bright lights? Too many late nights at Jay-Z's house?

It's much simpler than that. For whatever reason, Yankees GM Brian Cashman has an infatuation with the elderly.

Burnett (32), Chavez (33), Damon (32), Giambi (31), Jones (33) and Youkilis (34) were all over 30 when Cashman signed them. Hafner (35), Ibanez (39) and Sheffield (35) were all at least 35.

Baseball is a young man's sport. Only one hitter in the top ten in batting average this season is over the age of 31 (Marco Scutaro). Cashman is digging his own grave by courting veterans who are past their prime.

And he doesn't seem to be learning his lesson. The Blue Jays are the only team in the majors with an older roster than the Yankees this season.

This past offseason, New York spent a combined $50 million on pitchers Hiroki Kuroda ($15 million), Andy Pettitte ($12 million), Mariano Rivera ($10 million) and Suzuki ($13 million over two seasons). Kuroda is 38, while Pettitte and Rivera are both in their 40's. Ichiro will turn 40 in October.

The Rays, who are only 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees, spent almost that much on their entire team ($57.5 million).

So much for getting younger.

If you're Robinson Cano in free agency next offseason, who would you rather play for: a young team with a chance to be good for a long time, or the aging Yankees, who just can't seem to get it right?

Injuries didn't sink the Yankees. Poor spending did.

Don't feel bad for the Yankees when they're watching the playoffs on Jeter's couch this October. They brought this all on themselves. Or at least Cashman did.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.

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