We’ve talked about payroll a ton over the past few days, months, years. As fans of the Yankees, we’re used to spending what it takes, without any practical limits. However, there are 29 other teams in the league, many of which face payroll constraints.
Tonight, in the absence of baseball, we can pretend to be small market teams. Kinda. Here’s the exercise. You have $50 million to spend. You must fill 25 roster spots using 2008 salary data (which can be found at Cot’s). Ah, but it won’t be that simple. To ensure that you’re not just snagging quality young players who are making the league minimum, we’re going to put some service time restraints on the players you can choose. And what better model to pick than our very own New York Yankees?
For your nine starting position players, including DH, you can pick 1 player with 0-2 years of service time, 2 players with 3-5 years of service time, and 6 players with over six years of service time, hence free-agent eligible. That’s going to be tough. Service time can be found at Cot’s as well. Since we’re using 2008 salary data, we can use 2008 service time, too, so just use the number they’ve got there. If a player has 1.161 (1 year, 161 days) of service time, it counts as 1 year. If a player isn’t listed, he’s assumed to have no service time.
For starting pitchers, two can have 0-2 years, 1 can have 3-5 years, and 2 need to have 6 or more years. For the bullpen, it will be 2 with 0-2 years, 3 with 3-5 years, 2 with 6 or more.
On the bench, you’re free to do whatever. Restriction: it actually has to be a bench player. A reasonable guideline is fewer than 200 plate appearances in 2008. However, if a guy came up later in the year and started, you can’t use him.
Everything clear? All right. Let’s see what you’ve got.