Jan
19

Cole Hamels, Curtis Granderson and the tough choices ahead

By

(Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

One of Larry’s objections to the Pineda/Montero swap is the future availability of Cole Hamels on the free agent market. If the Yankees can pick up Hamels to slide in behind Sabathia, the argument goes, then perhaps they should have kept Montero to provide cheap production out of the designated hitter slot over the next few seasons. I wrote about Hamels last week, speculating that the Yankees might be preparing to make a run at him next winter.

Last Friday’s trade radically altered the landscape of the Yankees roster. In acquiring Michael Pineda from the Mariners, the Yankees acquired a potential number one or two starter with five years of cheap team control. According to well-sourced reporter Joel Sherman, the price was particularly important because the team is serious about getting under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014. With the new roster in place, it seems reasonable to wonder whether the team will be able to afford Hamels, or their own Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, and/or Nick Swisher, all of whom hit free agency in the next few years.

In projecting precisely whom the Yankees will be able to afford, it helps to have a handle on a reasonable estimate of future prices. Towards that end, I asked  Joe, Mike, Ben, Moshe and Larry to all provide me their best estimates for what they expect Swisher, Granderson, Cano and Hamels to pull in in their new contracts. These were the results of our inputs:

Robinson Cano: AAV of $22.0M, high of $23M, low of $20M.
Nick Swisher: AAV of $12.67M, high of $15M, low of $12M.
Curtis Granderson: AAV of $17.0M, high of $18M, low of $15M.
Cole Hamels: AAV of $21.67, high of $23M, low of $20M.

I’ll be using these figures going forward, and also making a few assumptions about the future Yankees payroll. The first one is that the Yankees won’t allow Robinson Cano to leave via free agency. He’s a homegrown star at a difficult position to fill, and he’ll only be 31 when he hits the free agent market after the 2013 season. It’ll hurt, but I expect the Yankees to resign Cano at $22M per year, the average listed above. The second assumption is that Alex Rodriguez will hit his 660th home run this season, and will hit his 714th home run in 2014, thus triggering his second $6M bonus. The third assumption is that Russell Martin does not sign an extension with the Yankees, and that they’ll use Austin Romine by 2014. With this in mind, this is what the roster would look like heading into the 2012-2013 offseasons:

The specific names attached to the $500k salaries aren’t all that important, but the idea that a cheap player will occupy the fifth starter’s spot and most of the bullpen. Banuelos, Betances, and Warren are interchangeable with whatever young player your heart desires. The cost is important.

The Yankees will have roughly $40M to spend on their rotation, bullpen, center field, right field and designated hitter positions. If they pay Granderson $17M and Swisher $12M, they’ll have around $10M to fill out the final rotation spot and the bullpen. They could go with a cheap arm in the fifth starter position, fill out the back end of the bullpen with minimum salary guys, and sign a decent set up reliever. If they choose to let Granderson walk and sign Hamels and Swisher, they’d have about $7M left over for the center field position (or left field, if they shift Gardner to center), bullpen and DH. This would be difficult to pull off. If they chose to forgo both Granderson and Swisher and sign Hamels, then they’d have around $18M left for two outfielders, the DH and the bullpen.

There doesn’t seem to be any way that the Yankees can get under $189M with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Cole Hamels all under contract at market rates.  From a financial perspective, the “easiest” solution would be for the Yankees to acquire a cheap, cost-controlled outfielder (like a Domonic Brown) who could step in and fill Swisher’s role for cheap. This would allow the Yankees to move Gardner to center and allow Granderson to walk, replacing Gardner with a relatively cheap left fielder and spending big on Hamels and the bullpen.

Personally, I’d very much like for them to spend on Hamels, probably even at the expense of Curtis Granderson. The offense would take a bit of a hit, but the idea of a Sabathia-Hamels-Pineda-Nova rotation is enticing. That’s just me, though, so I’m providing the link to my Google Doc with all the relevant numbers. If you save your own version, you can edit and mess around with various roster scenarios and post your version in the comments. Any way you cut it, though, there are some very hard decisions ahead for the Yankees front office.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • JJ

    Imagine what we could do without Arod’s 33.5 mil ??

    Having to choose between Hamels and Granderson is extremely difficult. Granderson is probably my favorite Yankee, and I’d hate to see him leave. I’d much rather see see the Yankees let Swisher walk and sign Granderson & Hamels, however, with the above figures, it seems virtually impossible to sign both of them and still remain under the 189m luxury tax. If only there was an Amnesty Clause in MLB.

    • gc

      It will be interesting to see how well (or not so well) Granderson plays this season. I think he’s really the key piece in all of this. Was last year a sign of things to come (even if he can’t surpass those numbers but come close to them)? Or will he regress? Should be interesting…

    • All Praise Be To Mo

      Why is Arod at 33.5 mil? Doesn’t Luxury Tax go by AAV and not the salary for the year? Wouldn’t it be a lot less like 27 mil or so? Also, can they do some creative book keeping in that sense and add a year or two to his, Jeter’s or CC’s deal at almost no money to lower the AAV for luxury tax reasons?

    • Jon

      Everytime I see A-Rods salary in print I throw-up in my mouth alittle. I wish we could restructure this contract so we pay him smaller amounts over say the next 20 years.

  • CJ

    1. Hamels may not be available to yanks. Even if he doesn’t sign an extension he could still prefer phillies dodgers cubs saint Louis as a free agent. Cliff lee reminded us that it is possible for a player to say no to the yanks.
    2. If the yanks commit to getting under $189. That’s a big IF and I don’t see it happening. Thank Joel Sherman for this obsession. When asked about payroll The yanks will never say “no we make so much money that we may go 215,225,250 we’ll see”

  • Vegemite

    Any reason contracts for all of the above could not be backloaded to get under target for 2014?

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

      Sadly, luxury tax is determined by AAV of the contract.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        How do options work?

        Say a player has a 3 year deal @ $30 mil, with a club option in the 4th year for $15 mil, what is the AAV?

        Would the answer be any different if the option was for $5 mil?

        • http://www.twitter.com/twilkinsonmedia T-Dubs

          I believe options do not count towards AAV figures and the subsequent buyouts are factored separately. For instance, Damaso Marte’s buyout counts towards this year’s tax figure but was not used to determine AAV for the past several seasons.

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            If that’s the case, it appears there is an opportunity to circumvent the CBA get creative with certain contracts.

            For example, let’s say Martin is receptive to a 3 year deal worth $24 mil.

            Instead of having $8 mil count against the luxury tax in 2014, the deal could be structured as a 2 year deal paying him $11 mil per year, with a club option for $2 mil in the 3rd year.

            He still gets his $24 mil (actually, w/ the time value of money, he makes out better) and the Yanks save $6 mil against the luxury tax in 2014.

            Sounds too easy to actually work.

          • Ed

            My understanding was that the buyout counts as part of the guaranteed portion of the contract.

            In Marte’s case, here’s his deal:
            09:$3.75M, 10:$4M, 11:$4M, 12:$4M club option ($0.25M buyout)

            The contract guaranteed $11.75M over ’09-’11, plus a $0.25M buyout. That would count as $12M guaranteed over 3 years, so $4M per year against the luxury tax payroll from ’09-’11.

            If the option was picked up, it would only be $3.75M in new money, which would go against the ’12 payroll.

            • Needed Pitching

              I believe this is correct, although quickly reading through the luxury tax section of the last CBA, it seems like the team has an option of how to treat the buyout if the option is exercised. They can deduct the buyout from that year’s salary, as you mentioned, or they can get a refund of the applicable amount paid in previous years.

      • LA Sean

        Would a huge signing bonus still count towards aav?

        • Needed Pitching

          yes

    • krazziness

      average value is what counts towards the cap – doesn’t matter how it is spread out…

    • Steve (different one)

      Yes, it’s based on AAV.

  • Tom Swift

    If Cano would agree to a 3 year deal now, at an AAV significantly lower than than 22 MM, that would help the team position itself for 2014. His 2012 and 2013 money would be guaranteed, at a higher rate than he would otherwise get. I don’t know if that is enough of an inducement to get him to do it. That would mean that in 2015, the Yankees would be in a position to offer him the big contract he wants.

    • RetroRob

      I suggested in the past that it might make sense to sign Cano to a new contract now, even if it will pay him more money the next two years, if it would lower the AAV of the entire contract, thus making it easier for the Yankees to make the 189 million number in 2014 and beyond.

      He’s scheduled to make $14 million in 2012 and $15 million in 2013, after which he’ll probably be looking for a seven-year deal at let’s say the $22 million per suggested by Stephen. That means the Yankees would be paying him top dollar for his age-31 through 37 seasons, which could get pretty dangerous toward the back end.

      2012 — $15M ($1M increase)
      2013 — $16M ($1M increase)
      2014 — $21M
      2015 — $21M
      2016 — $21M
      2017 — $21M
      2018 — $21M

      This seven-year deal would take Cano through his age-35 season, trading the two years at the back-end of his deal he’d sign after 2013 for his two younger years now, which will appeal to the Yankees since he’ll more productive. Cano might be in favor of it since he’ll immediately start making more money in 2014 than he’s currently scheduled to make, and he can lock in huge money now beginning in 2014 without having to worry about an injury or decline in skills that can impact his price.

      Boras, of course, likes to take his clients to market in almost all cases, but there is a large incentive for him to do the deal now. The current option years were negotiated by Cano’s former agent. In other words, Boras is getting nothing now and won’t until the new contract in 2014 is signed. He knows there are always risks in having a player wait, so he may want to lock in his gain on a $136 million deal now, as opposed to a $152 million deal a couple years down the line.

      All sides gain something here, with the Yankees saving about $2.5 million a year off the luxury tax threshold beginning in 2014, and paying that money for more of Cano’s peak time.

  • HD

    Let Swisher walk, keep Granderson, offer Hamels a back-loaded contract (at least keep year 1 under $20M then balloon starting in ’15). Even then, would still have to be very cheap/tight with RF/DH/Relief.

    • HD

      Disregard…just realized it goes by AAV.

  • alex

    I dont think we will need Hamels. The trade for Pineda will allow us to have a young cheap starting rotation.
    1. Sabathia
    2. Pineda
    3. Nova
    4th and 5th can be filled with Hughes, Banuelos, Betances, Warren, or another young guy. 2 of those guys should at least be decent as 4th and 5th guys. Im suprised you didnt include hughes in the article. If we trade Hughes, the guy we get back will fill one of the holes in the roster. Sign Cespedes for 8 – 10 million to fill one of the outfield holes.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Eric

    Nice job Stephen, I pretty much agree. Cano is a must-sign given that there is no feasible replacement in the system (and likely not on the market either).

    Granderson will be an interesting case in that he’ll be a little older when he hits free agency, and possibly somewhat on the decline. If he puts up another season like 2011 I agree that the $17 million figure looks likely, but if there is some regression (likely IMO) I could see that number drop to a somewhat more affordable range (13-15). He is expendable in the sense that Gardner can take over center (and there is centerfield depth down in the minors), but it would definitely hurt to lose him. Williams/ Heathcott/Santana would likely not be major league ready if Granderson walks.

    Swisher could be a goner if he wants market value, even though there is not a viable replacement within the system.

    I don’t necessarily see the Yankees going big on Hamels next offseason considering there will be several teams that will need him more. There is also a chance of him taking a big extension from Philly and not hitting the market at all. But I agree that it’s not likely that another big pitcher will fit into the budget if they resign Granderson.

    I’m not sure how you’re calculating A-Rod’s payroll hit, but shouldn’t it be by the AAV of the contract rather than the individual year’s salary? There’s also a non-zero chance that he moves to DH and the Yankees need to replace him at 3rd, which would likely be more costly.

    Also RAB has Mitt Romney ads now?

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

      Thanks. RE: Arod’s payroll, the 2014 number is 33.5, which represents $27.5+6M bonus, or $33.5. The 2013 number should be the AAV of $27.5M as well, but I entered his actual salary instead and didnt realize it until the jpeg was cropped and edited and uploaded, and then it was like…ehh, doesnt matter for our purposes anyway. But yeah, 2014 = AAV plus the bonus.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Have you ever noticed that even websites dedicated to progressive politics have ads from the candidates they fight against? Can we please stop complaining about the ad space on RAB? If it bothers someone that much, install Firefox and an adblocker.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Would Obama ads be better?

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

        Yep.

      • RetroRob

        Nope.

        Just providing balance!

        I could less about ads since my eyes block them out.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

          Haha, that works. I also think we have provided enough political banter to RAB for the foreseeable future.

    • viridiana

      For some time now, I’ve been mulling and raising these questions. Excellent summation but I’d question some assumptions. Signing Cano, for example, is not a given. Now represented by Boras, I have little doubt he will be looking for nine or ten years. As good as Cano is, I would not sign him to more than six, maybe seven. Second basemen, I’ve always felt (though I can’t prove it) tend to break down early. How many (other than Tony Taylor) have played well into very late 30s? So I’d be prepared to sign Curtis instead– likely to a much shorter deal. This could open way for Hamels but I would also question whether he’s in Yankee plans. Again, this signing might simply requre more investment than warranted.

      One system player who could help by 2014 IMO is JR Murphy. Would be nice if he could slot into OF but 3B and catcher seem more likely. I wonder if Yanks would gamble with Mason Williams for one spot. That’s the beauty of defensively talented prospects. You can plug them in even if their bats are not quite ready.

  • krazziness

    I found a way – convince Jeter not to pickup his player option (good luck!) – if that 8M at SS turns into 1M for Nunez, that would allow them to have Cano, Hamels & Grandy with some extra for RF, DH or a reliever…

    • Rainbow Connection

      I bet he’ll do it. He’s a real team player!

    • Gonzo

      Convince A-Rod to retire too!

      • viridiana

        It won’t save on luxury tax but how long will it be before the question of whether to cut A-Rod becomes leading Yankee blog topic?

        • Gonzo

          I’d rather not think of it. Maybe he’d take a buyout for the last year?

        • RetroRob

          When he’s no longer productive and a great option at 3B appears on the market. Since A-Rod was still rated as one of the top 3B’man in the game last year even with all the time missed, it’ll be a while before that becomes a top blog topic. 3B is a very weak position.

          • viridiana

            I’m guessing it will be a very hot topic within two years.

            • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

              With 4 years and a gazillion dollars left on his deal? Good luck with that.

          • blee

            haha, you’ll just see ridiculous “Longoria for Banuelos and Romine” proposals..

  • ItsATarp

    I’d Keep Granderson since we don’t really have an offensive bat in our system now that Montero is gone. Hamels is not a necessity now that we have Pineda and since CC-Pineda-Nova are going to make up the rotation for a while, we’l have 2 slots open. If Hughes pitches well, we’ll have only 1 slot open and that slot is most likely go to one of the B’s. So Hamels isn’t exactly a need. Additionally even if we have an extra slot, CC-Pineda-Nova at top might be strong enough that we can just get a veteran pitcher for cheap and short term to fill out the 5 hole.

  • Jon in CUO

    A space alien would look at the Yankees roster and marvel at the inverse relationship between player performance and salary in human sports.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Don’t fantasize about pitchers not yet available to team. Focus on building your own. I can repeat that for emphasis if needed.

    Swisher’s returning to the Yankees would be production and contract-dependent. I too believe he’s looking for that one big cash-in, and that the Yankees shouldn’t be the ones doing it.

    I’d do what it takes to keep Curtis in pinstripes. Cano isn’t even in the discussion. You keep him as a Yankee for as long as you can.

    Order of priorities to me, then, would be Granderson, FA pitching flexibility, then Swisher.

    • Jim Is Bored

      So…don’t pay attention to things that are happening in the future? You have to plan for everything; it’s short-sighted to not think about Hamels.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Fine. Think about Hamels. Think about what the team can do to not have to think about Hamels (or anyone else probably asking for way too much) more.

  • Sarah

    I’m with you, Stephen. Let Granderson walk, sign Hamels. The possibility of a rotation with 3 lefties in it (assuming Banuelos is starter). At a minimum, the Sabathia/Hamels/Pineda/Nova rotation would be awesome.

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      I think this time next year, we could easily see the state of the Yankees roster and determine that Granderson > Hamels – or at least more important. There are definitely ways to improve the offense that don’t HAVE to include Granderson, but just between the two, I’m anticipating Granderson being more vital to the team.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        For a year or 2, yeah. But I’d imagine that by year 3 or 4 at the latest, Granderson will decline to the point where Hamels >>>>> Granderson.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

          Yea, I can buy that.

          At the same time, looking ahead at the impact of Granderson’s decline on the team further highlights the need for the Yankees to bolster their offense. The same goes for Cano and Teixeira who could enter their decline phases at roughly the same point as Granderson.

  • Glass Half Empty

    Does Cole, Granderson, Swisher, Cano all line up with the offseason following this season?

    I think it is a GIGANTIC assumption that Cole will even hit FA.

    • CJ

      Exactly. Cole may not become a FA and may not want to come to NY. Cano and granderson are likely to want to remain Yankees.

      • CP

        Hamels just signed a 1-year deal to avoid arbitration rather than signing a long term deal. There have been rumblings from his agent that suggest he wants to get paid. At this point, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that he hits free agency.

    • blee

      I just had a brain fart and saw “Cole” and thought Gerrit Cole… *shudder*..

      why are we on a first name basis w/ a Phillies pitcher? lol

      what could have been w/ gerrit cole hurts me still…

  • Steve (different one)

    IMO, this article highlights one of the main reasons for the Pineda trade. If Pineda progresses this year, they will stay out of the high end pitching market next winter. The reasoning is such that Pineda + FA DH probably saves them at least $10M. It also insures them against the possibility of Hamels signing an extension. It also gives them more pitching in 2012.

    To me, it is a blatant sign that 189M14 is real. The Yankees are hoping for a CC/Pineda/Nova/Baneulos/Warren? rotation in 2014. This doesn’t mean if these guys don’t work out they won’t abandon the plan. But getting cheap top of the rotation production from Pineda would go a LONG way to helping the cause.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Pineda living up to even 75% of his billing. Banuelos progressing to the majors. Hughes living up to expectations. Two of these three happening would go a LONG way.

  • CJ

    Luxury tax is just a way for MLB to get a piece of Yankees profits before they pay tax to Uncle Sam.

  • alex

    I think we either trade hughes for a bat or he is one of the starters.

  • OldYanksFan

    Well done. A lot (of course) will depend on our young pitching… Pineda, Nova and the B’s and Co. If Pineda in a True #2/#3 guy, if Nova is a decent #3, and 2 of Hughes and the farm, are average or above as our #4/#5, we will be in good shape and can spend the money on our OF.

    If the youngsters fail, they may have to go after Hamels (or another stud) and piece together the rest of the roster.

  • Peter R

    Guessing this assumes Joba and Hughes leave on Free Agency?

  • Granderslam

    Can they backload deals? To save for luxury tax and then use that money saved to pay for the big contracts (Hamels, Grandy, Swish…)?

  • Loudog27

    I have to laugh that articles are being written about an 189 million dollar payroll. It will never happen. And if it was even dicsussed George Steinbrenner will find a way to come back from the dead and sign someone anyone to a 7 yr 30 million dollar contract.

    • CJ

      I agree. 189 will never happen. Too bad this talk will continue for 2 more years. The number 189 is now in every piece written about the Yankees since Sherman article.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Even if it won’t happen, the idea that the Yankees are being frugal could theoretically keep FA prices lower, with agents unable to use the Yankees as their “mystery team”, and can’t hurt anything.

        • CJ

          Exactly. It’s not in the best interest if the Yankees or MLB to say they have an unlimited payroll. The yanks are a baseball team, an entertainment company and a brand as a business model. Adding a star to the team has more value than on the field winning. It’s like adding a star to a strong movie script, it will not necessarily make movie any better but will boost sales.

      • Frank

        Except that it is happening and right before our eyes. I think we’re all going to have to believe it’s happening unless/until the Yankees make some new, long term and significant financial commitments (through 2014). I don’t see that happening.

        • CJ

          What has happened before our eyes that indicates they are reducing payroll? They gave cc a blank check. Brought in Kuroda for 10 and paid Freddy 4 to be a 7th starter. And asked for Felix and his 18 for montero banuelos and nova. That would have made cost control impossible.

          • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

            If you believe we asked for Felix then you should also believe the 189 number. They both come from the same source, unless you are now going to rank order reporters by credibility.

            • CJ

              A reported trade proposal is something that DID happen 189 in 2014 is something they SAY that WILL happen in the future. That’s a huge difference. There is no benefit to disclose future payroll plans for any team other than to say we are maxed out or cutting back.

              • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

                Wrong. They are both things that happened. What happened? One person told something to another person. That is what is being reported.

          • Dan

            True, but Kuroda and Garcia are just 1 year deals–this puts the Yankees in prime position to hit the payroll mark come 2014. Honestly, they could go after Fielder on an obscene 2 year deal and still be in a great cost cutting position for 2014 (not that I’m suggesting they do that).

            They hardly gave CC a blank check, he’d was signed for 2014 anyway, and his AAV only went up by $2 million. And if they traded for Felix he’d be a FA come 2014 anyway; and it would silence any talk of going after Hamels.

            • CJ

              Cc would not have made that money from any other team. So yeah it’s a blank check. don’t get me wrong its a no brainer

    • toad

      It might happen, but I don’t believe it’s written in stone, or even clay. Why decide that you’re absolutely not going above some number two years from now?

      No one knows how the team, or individual players, will perform in 2012 or 2013, and we don’t know how sensitive team revenue is to performance. Of course there’s an effect, but how big? I suspect that for the Yankees it makes a very big difference. If so, it would be foolish to save on payroll at the expense of weakening the team.

      Of course, as others note, it makes perfect sense to leak concerns about payroll to the press, if only to help with negotiations a little. It’s tough to get a good price if you announce that money is no object.

  • Mike K

    It’s minimal, but you could probably save a million or so off your 2014 roster. I don’t think Dickerson or Maxwell will be around by then, replace them with “free” players. Considering how much we’re butting up against the tax, $1M may be useful.

  • CJ

    From 2011-2014 how much revenue will yanks generate from being the only baseball team in NY with the Mets down and out for years? No, die hard fans will not convert, die hards are not where teams make money. The difference in corporate sales, advertising and cable ratings will spike as the only baseball market in the biggest city.

  • ChooChoo

    You just have to laugh at the number of people who post here and continue to annoint Gardner as a long tenured Yankee. Do you people actually take a look at the overall lack of offensive production he has had during his career? In particular, his numbers against left handed pitching render him as a very dubious full time player on any team, let alone the Yankees, in spite of his defensive prowess and speed.

    • Mike HC

      He is a perfect guy to have in a four outfielder rotation though, which the Yanks smartly employee. He would also be a very useful player if you have two poor fielding, big hitting corner outfielders. I agree he is a not a big money player you can count on seeing for the forseeable future. I see him more as a get as much as you can while he is under team control kind of player, and then that could be it.

    • http://www.cerealblogger.com Russ has a last name

      By fWAR Gardner was the 10th best OFer in baseball in 2011. Doesn’t matter to me how much of that is hitting.

      I am comfortable “annointing Gardner a long tenured Yankee”

      • BK2ATL

        That is, until you have to pay him……and unless he has a miraculous Jocoby Ellsbury-type of breakout season, I don’t see it.

        • http://www.cerealblogger.com Russ has a last name

          If he’s the same player in 2014 that he was in 2010/11 (certainly not a given) i don’t see any problem with paying him $5-7MM.

    • Needed Pitching

      “render him as a very dubious full time player on any team”

      he would be starting CF and leadoff hitter on many teams

  • Squeege

    I think your numbers are off… based on AAV- Arod starts at 27.5 but you add in two $6M incentives… that shouldn’t get completely factored in for only one year. Wouldn’t it be 10 years $275M plus another $12M, therefore $287/10 = $28.7M which would save another $4.8M

    • Squeege

      Also, Robertson’s Arb number are too high. He wouldn’t be the closer until 2014 and I doubt that the Yankees would announce that before his Arb hearing. He just signed for $1.5M if I am not mistaken, next year $3/4 and then the year after $6+ as a setup man is high. That saves another $2M.

      I think it is possible to get under the threshold, while still fielding a very competitive team.

      • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

        Disagree on this re: DRob.

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

      No, it isn’t added to the total sum and divided by the years. It’s assessed in the year in which he earns it. So you add 6 million to the AAV.

      • squeege

        Then it is not AAV…

  • OldYanksFan

    I love Robbie, but I don’t think anyone offers him $22m AAV. His OBP is too tied to his BA, which is the first thing to decline. No doubt he’s a great player, but $22m for a career .850ish OPS guy is a tad high.

    I would guess now that people understand that even with the Yankee’s deep pockets, they can not just throw money around. Cashman is smart, is being very frugal, and my guess is the Yankees are spending big on developing their farm/scouting systems.

    The ‘George Era’ is over. We can’t continue to pay millions to other teams, forfeit draft picks, and give long term contracts where we WAY overpay per/WAR.

    There is no reason we can’t Win with our payroll ‘only’ being double the MLB average payroll.

    • Bo Knows

      Robbie is a great middle of the order bat at a position that doesn’t have many of those around to begin with. If the Yankees try to play around or try short-change him, another team will step in faster than you can blink.

  • AJavierkei Pavagawnett

    Where’s Mariano Rivera in this equation? I have to factor him in making $15 mil in 2014.

    Seriously though this is a no brainer.

    You have to sign Hamels if you have the chance. How often does a pitcher of this caliber at that age even come on the market? Once every two to three years?

    After CC, Hamels would be a huge upgrade over anyone else in the rotation. While Pineda has the potential upside of being an ace, where he actually ends up remains to be seen.

    What is the probability of ANY of the other young arms developing into a Hamels-level pitcher (including Banuelos)? 10%? 20% max?

    With three aces and a garbage offense, the Phillies managed to win 102 games last year. Even if you give up both Swisher and Granderson, (and maybe throw some money at a high-end Ortiz-like DH for a year or two) the Yankees would be a dominant team.

    • Rainbow Connection

      lol

      • Robinson Tilapia

        LOL indeed.

  • mt

    Thank you for this – exactly what I was looking for.

    I do find it ineteresting that Joba and Chanberlain are gone – no way they stay in the first year of their FA contract – i assume both will make in excess of $5 million AAV in 2014 – only way they stay is in replacement for Hamels – this does crystallize that if Joba stays as a non-closer reliever it will be very hard to fit him in if they try to get to $189 million. I would much rather keep Curtis and try to stretch things to maybe get Hamels than think about having Joba on payroll.

    At least Hughes could be an alternative to signing a Hamels type.

    One insight into Yankee thinking on whether they are going to attempt this2014 budget is if they have discussions with Russell Martin that include 2014 – will they lock him in at 3 year for $20 million and have a 6.7 million figure for 2014 or would they only do two years.

    The Cano idea to for him to give up his 2014 year of free agency ($3 years at $51 million??) by signing a contract now and then give him his big contract in 2015 would be interesting – not sure Cano/Boras would do that, though.

    I still think we should do anything we can (bounce Swisher/Hughes/Joba, go with Romine, have cheap RF and bullpen outside of Robertson, have “cheap” closer Robertson in his third year of arbitration) to have Cano, Grandy, Hamels flexibility in 2014. I would pick Hamels over Grandy (assuming Cano is back and Hamels wants to sign here). If Hamels chooses Phillies or another team before 2013 comes, then Grandy becomes an even bigger target in 2014.

    That AROD contract is so bad – with his steroid admission, there will be so much negativity when he hits those milestones that may negate any positivity or increased sales/viewership. Maybe Yanks will be in their own cocoon and there will be a celebration. I know NESN2 (otherwise known as ESPN) will dampen the enthusiasm.

    • CJ

      Remember the piece RAB did on ARod contract. He has made good on his contract in on field performance only. What he has done for yes ratings and merchandising sales is on top of that. Same goes for jeter.

      • Needed Pitching

        ARod made good on his original contract in performance, not on his new contract. For performance only, he has been extremely overpaid in each of the last 3 seasons, after being reasonably fairly paid for 2008.

  • alex

    What about Melky Cabrera. He is a free agent after this year. He would only be 28 and should cost less than 10 million a year. Solid Power and hits for average. Descent speed and a canon for an arm.

    • Rick

      This is a joke, right?……. Right?

  • Ed

    How are bonuses (like A-Rod’s) counted in the luxury tax? If you make a $5M bonus in year 6 of a 10 year deal, does it count as $1M against each of years 6-10, or as $5M against year 6 ? Spreading it out seems more consistent with the rest of the calculations, so that may help reduce the 2014 payroll. Going with the spread, I get the following distributions:

    $6M bonus in 2012 = +$1M/year luxury tax going forward
    $6M bonus in 2014 = +$1.5M/year luxury tax

    Jeter’s contract helps us a little here. Because only the buyout of the 4th year is guaranteed, the buyout gets included in his AAV now. Assuming he picks up the option, he’ll make $8M, but only $5M of it will be newly guaranteed and subject to the luxury tax.

    Robertson is listed as $5M in 2013 and $8M in 2014. He’s only making $1.6M this year, so I can’t see those salaries unless he takes over the closer’s job from Mo early this year and dominates. $5M for 2014 seems far more likely to me. That would be similar to what Ryan Madson made, which seems like a reasonable comparison.

    CC’s salary unfortunately goes up. His extension raises his AAV to $24.4.

    So some possible adjustments to the chart in the article:
    A-Rod: $33.5 -> $30 (-$3.5)
    Jeter: $8 -> $5 (-$3)
    Robertson: $8 -> $5 (-$3)
    CC: $23 -> $24.4 ($1.4)

    That’s an extra $8.1M to play with right there.

    There’s also one more wild card in this. They could pull the opposite of the trick the Red Sox like to do. Extend Cano or Granderson early. Extend them before opening day either this year or next. The remaining cheap years on their deal get included with the extension for tax purposes. It’ll raise their immediate tax, but pull down their AAV over the life of the extension, potentially giving them several million extra per year during the life of the extension.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      I definitely agree about DRob. No way he gets to the level Rhoads assumes.

      • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

        Robertson could be the closer as soon as next year, so w/e.

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

          So could Joba. So could Hughes. So could Pineda. So could Betances. So could a bunch of guys, some who’d cost more than 8, many who’d cost less.

          The only plausible was he gets to 8 is if he closes in 2013. And that’s an assumption, not a lock. Just pointing it out.

    • Needed Pitching

      performance/award bonuses unfortunately don’t get spread out over the contract, they get added entirely in the year they are earned

  • Ross

    I’m not so sure that Mariano Rivera still won’t be getting $15 million a year. He led all AL Closers in ERA & WHIP. If he does something similar he could easily command another 2-year deal if that’s what he wants. He uses talk of retirement as negotiating leverage because we all know he won’t go to another team.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Ross and Mariano: BFF.

    • thenamestsam

      Mariano definitely has the potential to throw a serious wrench in these plans. A plan to be under the 189M line while still fielding a very strong team is almost certainly going to involve a relatively cheap bullpen. If Mariano is still making 15M then you basically have 25M for a rotation spot and two outfielders. That is potentially big trouble, especially on a team that may require big production from those outfield spots.

  • Mike HC

    I would think Swisher is a long shot to get any kind of long term deal for over 10 million from the Yanks. I can’t see it. Average corner outfielder with above average bat who is going to be 33. If you are trying to spend your money efficiently, Swisher is surely not the place to put it.

    The keepers are, pretty clearly to me, Granderson and Cano. You can’t let either of those two walk. Swisher, see ya later buddy. And Hamals is a pipe dream, but why not dream if you can.

    • Mike HC

      *Hamels (he is good enough to have his name spelled right, ha)

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Imagine accidentally giving a multi-year deal to Jason Hammel.

  • Moboy

    Why can’t we let Cano walk. Yes he’s a homegrown player but when was the last time a second baseman played great outside of age 33.

    Spending $20 million and over 5 years on a second baseman after age 30 years old is crazy no matter who he is. I have no problem gambling on a deal for a player like Cano but with the new CBA agreement you have to spend on money more wisely.

    • Mike HC

      Cano is not built like your average second baseman though. I think his potential to keep his production up is almost as good as any other hitter out there. His defense is another story though. I can see a drop off there with age. I think you sign Cano long term, and then in 3-5 years, ARod goes to DH and Cano goes to 3rd.

    • gc

      Jeff Kent?

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      Because he is the best 2B in the game and would still have middle-of-the-order All-Star caliber production to offer for AT LEAST three more seasons.

    • viridiana

      My point exactly. yanks will have to carefully consider what they do with Cano. Not a no-brainer that they re-sign him as Boras will inist on some outrageous terms.

  • Preston

    I don’t know that the Yankees are sold on the idea of doing this. But they want to keep the roster flexible enough so that if they have enough young cost controlled players to do it they can. I like the idea of trading for Domonic Brown (or maybe sign Jorge Soler) and seeing if we can fill an out-field spot that way. I also wonder if there are any minor league guys who could fill the role. I don’t have high hopes for Melky Mesa at this point, Maybe Zoila Almonte? Can anyone be turned into a corner OF? Murphy, Sanchez, Austin?

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      I think signing Jorge Soler is a move that has to be made regardless of the 2014 budget or the current roster.

      • Preston

        I think that if they’re serious about getting under that level they need to make big moves in IFA this season while they still can. We spend a lot of money scouting and get a lot of steals in Latin America, but without being able to pay significantly over slot in the draft and go all out for the Montero and Sanchez types in IFA, our farm is going to struggle to be among the top ten going forward.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    Why would Domonic Brown be available?

    • Mike HC

      I didn’t really get that either.

    • CJ

      Another problem with this is to get a Dom brown or any other cost controlled player will cost a cost controlled player from the Yankees. Montero was a cheap dh traded for a cheap sp, it will just open another hole.

      • Preston

        Ruben Amaro Jr. said they are planning on him going back to AAA this year. If they aren’t going to play him they might as well trade him. I have no idea what they would want in return or if the Yankees would want to do it.

        • CJ

          Probably betances who is a cost controlled pitcher figured into future planning. Maybe phils would like younger and take mason Williams plus.

          • Preston

            A cost controlled everyday starter is way more valuable than a cost controlled reliever or even a back end starter. It’s a lot easier to find a cheap bull-pen player or 5th starter then it is to find everyday players. Obviously with Betances you could have a lot more than a back end starter or reliever if everything breaks right. And with Brown you might only get a platoon player. So it’s a risky move. I’d probably make the trade one for one though.

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

      Pure speculation, no need to work yourselves into a frenzy about it.

      • Paul VuvuZuvella

        Haha, zOMG I’m all Frenzied out~!

  • James

    Use Robertson as closer and develop the bullpen from within. Let Swisher walk hopefully Mason Williams will be ready by 2014. Resign Granderson and sign Hamels. Phelps, Warren, Kontos, Norton, Montgomery, Kahnle, Stoneburner, Mitchell, Betances are all bullpen options. Add in the fact that Maxwell and Dickerson probably won’t be on the team gives you a little extra breathing room. Who knows maybe Jeter retires and they use Nunez (yeah yeah yeah he sucks). The main thing is with Hamels the Yanks will probably have the best staff in the game.

  • Frank

    “…then perhaps they should have kept Montero to provide cheap production out of the designated hitter slot over the next few seasons.”

    If the argument is that Montero would be providing his production from the DH slot, then you would have to assume that either A-Rod, Texeira and Jeter wouldn’t be making too many appearances at DH (hard to imagine considering how old they’ll be in 2014), or that Montero would be catching when he’s not DH’ing (which would likely have to be very often – again, as one/all those other guys would likely be DH’ing a lot).

    Thing is, if Montero isn’t making a full season’s worth of plate appearances, he certainly can’t provide his max potential and offensive impact.

    And if that’s the case, you have to figure what’s worth more: A partial Montero season or a full Pineda season.

  • Steve (different one)

    2014: Adams to 2B, Cano to 3B, ARod to DH.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Mariano to CF

      - Michael Kay

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Best defender on the team. Now that get ketchup outta my face, LaGreca.

  • Gonzo

    You forgot to add the 5/60mm contract with multiple opt outs given to Ryan Madson next year.*

    *If Mo retires.

  • Dan

    I think there are more savings. I doubt Cevelli and his $1 million will be on the team, so there’s another $500K, same with Nunez (who I think may be making a bit more than that come 2014, especially considering how many AB’s he could potentially get).

    I think if Warren and Betences are just going to be in the Pen anyway, you can trade them (and could do so now) for an OFielder.

    The best course of action is to keep the bullpen as cheap as possible. Although I’d be surprised if come 2014 neither Joba nor Hughes is on the team in some capacity (call it an extra $3 million if it’s in the pen).

    As far as Hamels, etc. goes. I think this all depends on how Hughes is this year and what steps Betances, Banueles, etc. take in the next two years. If any two of those guys pan out to be #3 starters (at least), then I say don’t go after Hamels. However, if they’re all question marks then you do so. The most expensive guy would be Hughes, and if he’s a solid number 3, the salary would be for something like $10 million (could be higher). That would give more than enough money to resign Grandy, have a decent Bullpen, RF and DH for the money. This almost definitely will be Swisher’s last year in the Bronx, unless he signs a 1 year contract.

    That’s my preferred course of action.

    However, if those pitchers (or only one of them) pans out then the best course is to sign Hamels, and then trade prospects to get cost-controlled help in the OF and fill out the pen on a budget. Then it’s goodbye Grandy too.

    Sorry about the double post.

  • mt

    I think Yanks use Mariano or (if Mo retires, Soriano) as closer for as long as possible before anointing DRob – that may keep salary lower for third year of arbitration.

    Then in spring training 2014 he wins competition (not sure with who?) and becomes 2014 closer.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

    This article further illustrates why Hal should have gone all out on getting Darvish. A possible top of the rotation pitcher heading into his prime for only $10m a year as opposed to someone like Hamels for twice as much heading into his 30′s.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Just as easily demonstrates how going for a high-upside pitcher under team control for the next five years was an even better move.

  • Yank Fan In Sox Land

    How are vesting options calculated into AAV? Is it? If not perhaps structuring deals with various options (vesting, player, team, etc.) would afford flexibility within the confines of the new CBA.

  • Gonzo

    Could it be that the Yanks traded for Pineda because they figured out they couldn’t make a successful run at Coal Hammels?

    Could it be that the Yanks now have no interest in Coal at 6 year $20mm+ salary?

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

      Yes.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I think the team feels they’d rather solve their pitching issues with high-upside younger pitchers that won’t require huge FA contracts, such as the forementioned Kole Qhamels (Q is silent.)

      It’s slightly riskier AND a whole lot smarter, isn’t it? Feel free to tell me the Yankees are incapable of developing their own pitchers below.

    • Mike HC

      No doubt about it. Chole Hamells was always a long shot.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        They call him “Cholo” in the rougher parts of Philly.

    • Sarah

      Definitely no interest in whoever Coal Hammels is.

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

        Sounds like a bad Christmas gift.

  • mt

    A separate post on Hamels would be interesting – if he hits free agency in 2013, wouldn’t he make more than CC did in 2009 (since he will be a year younger than CC in 2009, I think) with proven playoff performance (as opposedd to CC’s spotty record prior to 2009)? – wouldn’t he be at $24-$25 million per?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    A post on why Siri doesn’t like spelling the name Cole Hamels would be great.

  • PinedaColada

    I say let swisher walk and see if grandy/cano take some sort of hometown discount so we can go after hamels and fill the OF position by trading from our AAA starting pitchers

  • Tipsie

    I love Granderson; how can you not? His year was off the charts incredible. Great guy, great attitude. However, he enters this season @ age 31; strikes out a ton; has already started to slip defensively; and does not carry the emotional attachments of a lifelong NYY. He’ll likely have a good enough year (drop-off should be inevitable) to pick up his 2013 $15M option, but I could let him walk afterwards if need be. With a chance to sign Hamels, you do it. Same with Swisher. Cano is the one guy to consider locking up long-term (as has been discussed here this off-season). Cano + Hamels (if available) >>> any OF priorities moving forward.

  • thenamestsam

    I feel like offense is going to be a much larger issue for that hypothetical 2014 team than pitching is, and so I’d say passing on Hamels is probably the smart way to go. Seriously, who besides Cano is going to hit in that lineup? Romine may be fine for a catcher, but he’s not going to hit a ton. Maybe Tex bounces back, but he’ll be in his mid-30s and the best you could hope for would probably be something like the .360 wOBA he had this year. Jeter will most likely be fighting to stay above replacement level. ARod is presumably still a huge injury risk at that point, only when he’s healthy he’s more league average than stud. I like Gardner, and maybe he grows into a reliable leadoff hitter, but more likely he’s still a bottom of the order guy with a lot of defensive value.

    I don’t think they can afford to cut corners in CF and RF given all those question marks. I’d much rather they use the young pitchers to fill out the rotation (between Nova, Pineda, Warren, Phelps, Banuelos and Betances I’d think they could fill 4 rotation slots with at leact decent production) and spend the money in the field to make sure they still have a potent lineup.

    • viridiana

      Hughes and/or Joba could be trade chips if they show anything this year, though i see Joba as set-up to D-Rob. But they’d have tyo sign him as he is FA-eligible in 2014.

  • CP

    How much is the cost to the team if they happen to just miss the target? For example, if they’re on pace to be below $189M, but then A-Rod goes on a tear and hits one of his milestones that had looked unlikely or impossible before the season. Other than the payroll (and taxes paid on it) saved in 2014, is there an added benefit if the Yankees have a $190M payroll vs a $210M payroll that year since both would be above the luxury tax threshold?

    On a similar note, is there a similar benefit if they cross under the cap in 2015 instead of 2014?

  • MattG

    I can imagine a scenario were Granderson is overvalued relative to the new Yankee fiscal responsibility. I believe he is the odd man out.

    I also doubt the Yankees will show the largest sack of cartoon money to Hamels. If Pineda and Banuelos are what they think they are, the need for Hamels will not be great.

    And finally, I think Garnder’s production becomes outpaced by his arbitration raises, certainly by 2014 (if not sooner). This will have the Yankees wanting to trade him, but, perversely, will make him hard to trade. Not impossible, though. You made the hard cuts with Hughes and Chamberlain here, Gardner is probably no different.

    • Needed Pitching

      And where do you replace a 4-6 win player (Gardner) for less than the 7M presumed in the article. Even at 7M, that kind of production is extremely valuable

  • Loudog27

    Isn’t Cole Hamels the same person who was afraid to pitch against the Yankees in the World Series? Why are we not questioning his ability to pitch in NY?

    • GardnergoesYardner

      Haha I remember that. Didn’t he say he wished the season were over or something?
      Anyway, I think he’s definitely matured since then, but the fact remains that he’s been pitching alongside Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cliff Lee for the past few years. He hasn’t been the top guy since that World Series in 2008, and there is a reasonable concern about how suited he is for the pressure of New York. In no way am I saying he’d crack under pressure and be a bad signing, but he has had his issues in the past and it’s something to think about.

    • Steve (different one)

      Because he won a world series already, pitches in a big market, and never said he was afraid to pitch against the Yankees?

      • Loudog27

        Didn’t he win the World Series before the breakdown against the Yankees? I do not remember his exact quote but i think it was along the lines of I wish the season was over. I remember being confident the Yankees were going to kill him. I am just saying that is something to consider before deciding against trading for Pineda and spending 15 mil on Hamels. As with all players who come to the Yanks you will face adversity and you have to have the heart to deal with it. Granderson did. Vazquez did not.

  • ryan

    Stephen, are the luxury tax numbers based on the salary as of the first day of the season?

    Didn’t the Red Sox wait to extend Adrian Gonzalaez until after the season began because his salary was only about $5.5 million.

    could they get creative and sign a player to a lower salary then extend them after the season begins?

  • BK2ATL

    First of all, I don’t agree with fawning over Hamels a year out, when a couple of things will happen that Yankees’ fan with tunnel vision aren’t considering.

    1st – The Phillies reasonably COULD sign him. They are the home team in this. Maybe they don’t have the $189 million target issue that the Yanks are facing. Maybe they just swallow the 2014 $20 million option for Roy Halladay and let him walk after. I don’t know what their finances and salaries are, nor do I care, but they are a big market. There is money there. To assume they can’t sign him is underrating what Amaro has proven can be done.

    2nd – Hamels is from southern California (San Diego). While the Angels might be unable to do anything else, by next offseason, the newly-owned, and well-funded Dodgers certainly can and probably will be major players to team Hamels up with Kershaw. Money-wise, to hit that $189 million, we couldn’t compete with the numbers that will be thrown at Hamels if the Dodgers make him their target.

    3rd – Has anyone even heard of him saying anything favorable about the Yankees?

    I like what Cashman did in getting Pineda. We will know after 2012, if Betances and/or Banuelos are ready to contribute.

    2013 SP rotation could very well be

    CC
    Nova
    Pineda
    Banuelos
    Hughes/Betances

    Cano must be extended this year at less than the AAV speculated.

    We need Granderson signed long-term as well. I’m sure he will be reasonable with the negotiations, as he’s a decent person who understands the philosophy. And plainly speaking, he has more value to the Yankees’ team than Gardner. He is the Yankees’ CF, point-blank. There isn’t another Granderson in the farm system, but there certainly could be a few Gardners.

    We should be in on Soler or Cespedes, if the plan is not to bring Swisher back. Either would be reasonable options. I’d prefer Soler.

    One last thing, turns out that Fausto Carmona is not Fausto Carmona after all. His real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia, and he’s actually 31, not 28. Says the DR police. I wonder if Cashman ever ran across mutterings of this, in our more desperate for SP days.

    • Mike HC

      It is common knowledge to basically everyone that you take ages with a grain of salt with guys from central america. And any team that does do some investigation and know how old these guys really are, are not going to say a word about it because that gives that team an advantage. Maybe I’m too skeptical, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the Yanks maybe know Montero is older than his official age, and that other teams are not 100% aware of this (I just completely made this up to be clear). Cano also strikes me as an older than advertised possibility (again, just a hunch, no facts)

  • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

    Forgive me if I repeat any comments from above, but I felt like typing instead of reading.

    This is a fun exercise, but there are too many moving parts for me to make any comments on specific scenarios. Generally though, the Yankees can’t keep robbing Peter (the offense) to pay Paul (starting rotation). Sure, Hamels would be great to have in Yankees pinstripes, but I don’t think its worth further weakening the offense.

    The Yankees offense is still top-of-line, but it is also past its peak. I think the FO needs to start addressing that now before they find themselves relying on the offensive versions of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon.

    • BK2ATL

      I completely agree with you. I really don’t think we need Hamels, esp. at that price. I have to put faith in all of the scouts who think that Banuelos will be a quality lefty starter, and at a fraction the cost.

      Ignoring that Jeter, A-Rod and Tex are diminishing and entertaining the idea that we let either Cano or Granderson walk is silly. Plain and simple, we have young starting pitching in the pipeline, almost ready to contribute. We have NO MLB-ready, young hitting in the pipeline that’s within 3 years away.

      We can compete at a high level without Hamels, esp. with our strong bullpen, and dare I say, without Mariano whose retirement will be coming sooner than later. To lose both Swisher AND Granderson, when you consider the above statement about Jeter, A-Rod and Tex, we’ll be back in the middle of the pack offensively.

      • Loudog27

        This must be the sane section of the blog

  • john

    phil hughes for gerardo parra

    young up and coming OF, terrific defense all 3 spots. not sure the snakes would do it but with how well IPK has done for them you never know.

  • RetroRob

    Stephen, I might have missed this in the notes, but how do the marketing agreements impact A-Rod’s AAV? His AAV is $27.5 million, so when he hits HR #660 and earns a $6 million marketing bonus, how in any way does that impact his AAV? You’re showing his AAV increasing by $1.5 million to $29 million in 2013, which doesn’t make sense. Then you show another $4.5 million increase in his AAV in 2014 after he collects his second $6 million bonus.

    Sifting through the notes, I see a lot of questions here on RAB on how options impact a player’s AAV, how A-Rod-like marketing agreements impacts the AAV (Pujols seems to have them too), and indeed what’s the apples-to-apples comparison for the Yankees luxury tax. Mike earlier brought players’ benefits into the equation today, yet I don’t think all the comparisons include them. Since this a topic that will take on increasing importance as we head toward 2014, it might be worth a post from one of the RAB editors discussing all the ins and outs.

  • Loudog27

    The Yankees have had their greatest success under Kate Hudson.

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    We have five years of Pineda, CC for as long as we want, Nova for as long as we want, but Kuroda only for a year and this is probably freddy’s last year. Likely ManBan replaces kuroda or freddy’s rotation spot. Then you need one more spot. I like a rotation of CC Pineda Hamels Nova ManBan

  • JonS

    Sabathia-Hamels-Pineda-Nova -Banuelos/Betances/etc… Oh my…

  • kevin w.

    If I had to pick two, i’d rather have Swisher and Hamels.

  • Vince

    Love this; I’m sure Cashman has a very similar board with these numbers; I would say Swisher would be gone, and Grandy may have priced himself out by then.

  • mt

    One other thing I noticed: the 15 players who complete the 40 man roster only make $1.13 million total. I did not know minor league salaries were that low – it works out to 75K per player.

    The more I look at this: for both Cano (definitely) and Grandy (maybe) signing them early and paying them more in 2012 and 2013 so that 2014-2017 or 2018 are lower seem like the thing to do.
    Rather than paying Cano’s options for $14 million in 2012 and $15 million in 2013 and then paying him $22 million for 5 years and get charged $22 million in 2014 calculation, instead I would pay him now $19 million for seven years (they pay in effect $9 million “extra” in 2012 and 2013 at the current higher luxury tax rate so they can use $19 million rather than $22 million in calculation to get all the luxury tax reset savings and revenue sharing savings. Total value over next seven years is $133 Million (7*19) versus a total of $139 ($14+15+5*22)but Cano ges money sooner and also protects against injury. This is a departure for Yanks who normally wait till free agency but if they want to get to $189 million in 2014 they may have to depart from their practice. Then they can see how their young pitchers develop in terms of whether they want to go for Hamels (if avaailable). They can also switch to tier B pitchers at lower cost (McCarthy, Sanchez, etc.) or ignore 2013 pitching market totally.

    I can see Yanks doing this for Cano but wonder whether they will want to wait on Grandy (to see how large regression from 2011 might be.) Normally Boras would say wait for free agency as far as Cano but Boras does not make any commission money on Cano’s current options for 2012 and 2013 so he might support new contract now.

  • Nad

    You are drinking the crazy sauce. No way the Phillies let Cole get away for 22 a year you are going to have to offer him 25 and 5 to get him to NY. I doubt he would want to play in NY anyway, after the 09 world series he almost collapsed from the media pressure. Philly media is bad enough, NY is the WORST. If he leaves Philly, don’t be surprised if he heads off to the Left Coast, thats where he is from, and I believe where he will be comfortable.