The Greedy Yankees

The Future of the Front Office
Yankees outright Kevin Whelan to Triple-A

It seems that people are thinking further and further ahead these days. It’s one thing to get emails about the upcoming free agent class while the Yankees fight for a playoff spot. But emails asking about the 2013 and 2014 free agent classes? It seems a bit far reaching. But you know what? Let’s run with it. Here are the official RAB recommendations for whom the Yankees should sign in the upcoming free agent classes.

2013: Cole Hamels and Miguel Montero

Adding Hamels to a rotation that already includes CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda would create, well, something that resembles what they have going on in Philadelphia. He’s clearly the best pitcher on the free agent market. His career numbers, in fact, closely resemble CC Sabathia’s at the time the latter hit free agency. With one more year similar to 2010 and 2011, Hamels will also have comparable numbers in the three years leading up to free agency. To say that he should get money somewhere near the Sabathia range is no exaggeration.

The Yanks might also need a catcher, since Russell Martin qualifies for free agency once 2012 ends. A boatload of other catchers become free agents as well. They’d do well enough to bring back Martin, but as Mike noted yesterday, Miguel Montero brings a bat to go with his defense. He’d fit well behind the plate for the Yankees, and would give them some more time to develop Gary Sanchez.

There remains a hole in right field, but with Hamels creating something of a pitching surplus, the Yanks can afford to move some arms in order to pick up a new right fielder via a trade. Or just re-sign Nick Swisher. Either way, it’s not a huge concern.

Total estimated outlay: $170 million.

2014: Jacoby Ellsbury/Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Lincecum

Austerity shmausterity. Granderson and Cano fill obvious needs, but if the Yanks can’t agree with Granderson they can go younger and snag Ellsbury, which also helps because they’re taking him away from the Sox. Also, by 2014 it’ll be easier to move A-Rod to DH. Zimmerman represents a fine replacement — certainly better than the other third baseman free agent, David Wright.

Total estimated outlay: $440 million.

2015: Felix Hernandez/Justin Verlander/Clayton Kershaw/Jon Lester, Hanley Ramirez

By 2015 the Yankees will have Sabathia, Pineda, Hamels, and Lincecum under contract, so they only have room for one more pitcher in the rotation. That means they’ll have to choose carefully from among these deserving suitors. Kershaw will be the youngest at the time, so he’s the first target. There’s nothing really wrong with the other guys, though.

Also by 2015, Derek Jeter will have retired. His player option covers 2014, but by 2015 the Yanks will have a hole at shortstop. Hanley will probably be itching to move back there by then. Who knows if he can still play it by that point, but who cares? It’s not like the Yankees have realized stellar shortstop defense for the past, oh, decade or so.

2016: Neftali Feliz, Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton, maybe Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera would be nice, but with Zimmerman, A-Rod, and Teixeira still under contract there just might not be room. Then again, Teixeira will have only one year left on his deal, so maybe they’ll just eat that $23 or so million so they can add Cabrera to play first and DH.

While they’ll have Granderson or Ellsbury for center field, they’ll do well to move either one to left field in order to accommodate McCutchen. That’ll make for some superb outfield defense. Add Justin Upton to the equation, and it’s a powerful and rangy outfield.

Feliz will be just 28 for the 2016 season, so signing him makes enough sense. Michael Pineda will be entering his final year of arbitration, so the Yankees can just trade him for a bullpen arm and then re-sign him the following off-season. Or they can just let his fastball play up in the bullpen.

There you have it. Here’s the Yankees projected 2016 lineup:

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
2. Curtis Granderson/Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
3. Justin Upton, RF
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
6. Hanley Ramirez, SS
7. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
8. Alex Rodriguez/Mark Teixeira, DH
9. Miguel Montero, C

SP1: Clayton Kershaw
SP2: Tim Lincecum
SP3: CC Sabathia
SP4: Cole Hamels
SP5: Neftali Feliz

Closer: Michael Pineda
Setup: David Robertson

I thought about extending this to 2017 as well, but that would just be ridiculous.

The Future of the Front Office
Yankees outright Kevin Whelan to Triple-A
  • Plank

    I find your plan to be excessively realistic.

    •!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      Yeah. I agree. Far too realistic.

  • Vinny Scafuto

    That is an excellent tag.

    • ThisIsBaseball


    • Brian in NH

      the best part of the whole thing was the tag.

  • Matt DiBari

    I’m not betting against Mo being the closer in 2016.

    • theyankeewarrior

      This is why I came into the comment section.


  • paul a

    If that 2016 lineup ever comes to reality,the Yankeees would become the first team to have a one billion dollar payroll.

  • Samuel

    This might be the stupidest thing I have ever seen on this site.

    • pat


    • Michael

      Come back when you get a sense of humor please.

      • Samuel

        I know this piece was MOSTLY in jest, but there are lots of Yankee fans who would love to see this type of thing happen:

        1) a payroll north of $400 million;

        2) a super star at every position;

        which only brings super high ticket prices and virtually no one in the seats watching the game in person.

        • pat

          Lol, that’s your beef with it?

        • MattG

          Right, because that’s how teams price their tickets. Based on their payroll.

        • Yankeegirl49

          Newsflash: If every single player on the Yankees roster played for free, tickets would still be whatever they thought people were willing to pay for them.

          • Professor Longnose

            That isn’t true. Overhauls to pricing structures tend to take a long time, and tend to involve technological changes and marketing revolutions. Teams are currently moving into dynamic pricing and trying to capture some of the secondary market revenue, but it’s going slowly despite it being obvious that some tickets are very undersold. The idea that tickets automatically get sold for the most they could possibly be sold for is just nonsense.

            • thenamestsam

              It’s true that the idea that ticket pricing is efficient is blatantly false (one look at stubhub will prove that to you) but I’d say it’s closer to being true than the idea that payroll=ticket prices. Prices would most likely go up with the super team because more people would want to see that team play, but if the team (somehow) didn’t improve, I bet ticket prices would stay fairly similar.

        • Bean Tooth

          There’s actually an argument to be made that it makes sense for the Yankees. With a lineup like that, they probably make the WS every year and win it most. The amount of extra cash the team would bring in would more than offset the ridiculous payroll. Baseball would move to a strict salary cap and move the Yankees to the Nippon League out of spite, but for a while there it would be sweet.

    • Joe Pawlikowski

      Untrue. This is, at worst, my third or forth stupidest post.

      • Samuel

        I agree, Joe. Definitely top ten.

      • Plank

        Yeah, don’t feel bad Joe. You’ve written way stupider posts than this.

        • Fernando

          Maybe this was a mistake or not, but I love that your comment about this being your “forth” stupidiest post spells “fourth” wrong. Either way, the article and your comments were clearly an attempt at humor and taken as such. Had to check the calender to see if it was April 1 yet.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      You’re obviously not around on the weekends.

      Boom, that just happened.

      • JMK

        I laughed. Once upon a time, I was a weekend writer. Those were the days…

    • Ted Nelson

      I think Hanley Ramirez at SS was an ever bigger give away that this is a joke than the “Suck it Selig” tag.

    • Denver fighting tebows

      grow up this is a funny post that i genuinely enjoyed

      it’s totally in jest also

    • theyankeewarrior


  • Russ

    Fun stuff. I’m with Matt in thinking that Mo is still closing in 2016… not really, but would anyone be shocked ?

    • LiterallyFigurative

      Mo sets up for Strasburg in 2016….

  • Robert

    I would say no to Tim Lincecum. But if you could only get two of them I would go after Upton,Kershaw.

  • Mykey

    This team still loses to the 2011 Socks on paper!

    • Corporate Scum


      (1 bucket of chicken)

      • jjyank

        No, its +2

        1 for chicken, 1 for cheap beer.

        • joey

          wrong again, +3
          1 for chicken, 1 for beer, 1 for video games.

  • Will (the other one)

    Nice work, Joe, but frankly it seems a little light on the setup man. Say…Josh Johnson?

  • Monterowasdinero

    Jesus in 2018!

    • Corporate Scum

      Nah, 2013. We’ll just trade David Phelps, Slade Heathcott, and Francisco Cervelli for him.

      Better Yet, Cervelli and Soriano.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      How did I know you were gonna post this exact comment?

      • Monterowasdinero

        because I am figurativelyliterate.

  • dean

    Best post ever

  • Joel

    This is a good start, but obviously the pitching will need a mid-season upgrade. Expect the Yankees to announce the un-retiring of Roger Clemens to save the Yankees around June 25th. Suzyn Waldman will parachute down on to the pitching mound, screaming frantically into her mic as she descends down into the mitt of a giant hologram of Clemens, who will then ball her up into a nasty Mister Splitty and hurl her to… Jorge Posada, who will of course be in the middle of a three year contract as the team’s player/manager.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    I almost fell out of my seat reading this one.

    Obviously CC will be the closer by then (duh)!

    In all seriousness, the look aheads to 2013 and 14 are getting a little nuts. We still kinda have to get through 2012 with this strong, potent team that Cash has built. I think it says alot about how good Cashman (and his lieutenants) have done in building a team so good, the biggest worry we have is who to choose for the 5th starter and who’s our lefty DH, not that we necessarily need one.

  • Stephen

    This is hilarious, but just reading “Closer: Michael Pineda” gave me chills.

    He better not be a relief pitcher for a loooong time.

  • MattG

    Can we sign Lester to be the LOOGY?

  • CJ

    2013 is possible. 2014 cano is a must granderson or ellsbury is necessary. Then Kershaw or Verlander would be hard to ignore.

  • CJ

    If the yanks don’t make the playoffs or get eliminated in 1 game WC (which will be considered not making the playoffs in NY) 2 out if next 4 years the team/payroll will be closer to this humorous fantasy than an austerity payroll assembled team. Oh and Girardi and Cashman will be gone.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    We win. No reason to pay the games. The remainder of the AL and NL raise the white flag. I’m a little concerned about our bench strength. Maybe Jeter would consider the backup SS/3rd base spot.

    You didn’t mention did we ever trade AJ or he played out the remainder of his contract.

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

    Funny thing is, if GMS III were still around you could take this post to the bank.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      “Austerity my A$$!!”

  • MattG

    This makes me think…what would be the ideal roster for $189MM? If I try to construct the ideal roster, it might look like:

    $10MM or so goes to player benefits, right?

    Another $5MM or so goes to players on the 40 man, but not on the 25 man…leaving $172MM for the 25 man roster…

    The bullpen might cost $18MM. That’d be one superstar reliever at $12MM, and a collection of arb and pre-arb arms.

    The bench might cost $6MM. That’d be two veterans and a couple of arb/pre-arb role players.

    That leaves $148MM for the starting lineup and pitching. That might look like:

    Say 2 pre-arb players, making $1M…

    Say 2 more arb players, making $12M combined…

    That leaves $135M for 10 players. With that, there can be:

    3 superstars at $24MM each…

    7 more players averaging $9MM.

    Obviously, you’d want more arb & pre-arb players, but I am trying to be a tad realistic for a team of the Yankees’ stature. I think this is pretty optimal.

  • JonS

    You know what’s funny Joe, That lineup and rotation will be at least 60% right.

  • RetroRob

    This may be the funniest post I’ve read in a while.

    Well done.

  • Bean Tooth

    But what about Joba in the rotation?

  • Mike HC

    Funny stuff. Enjoyed it

  • RobertGKramer@AOL.Com

    And a friend and I were thinking the Teixeira bunting articles along with “Cashman: I’m comfortable with A.J.” on Bombers Beat sounded like April first, not February. Now add this!

    • Bo Knows

      Provide a link where Cash said “I’m comfortable with AJ”, because I’ve looked all over ESPN and google and haven’t seen anything close to that.

      • Joe Pawlikowski

        Liar. If you type I’m comfortable with A.J. into google it’s the first freaking result.

  • Bryan V

    After reading about signing Hamels I was ready to respond, saying that it would be extremely difficult to stay under $189 million in 2014 with him around. At least if they wanted to bring back Cano and possibly Granderson. But then I read on and got the joke.


  • Matt

    The last few paragraphs are gold.

  • Bryan V

    “I thought about extending this to 2017 as well, but that would just be ridiculous.”

    That’s my favorite line. Yeah… THAT would be ridiculous. lol

  • choochoo

    Some of you clowns here are like a bunch of Little Girls, waiting for the authors to remove the cupcakes from the Easy-Bake Children’s oven and share a crumb with you. Pathetic.

    • Staten Island

      This seems like an overly elaborate metaphor to be off the top of your head. How long have you been waiting to spring this little nugget on someone?

      • thenamestsam

        I liked that it made me think about EZ-Bake (I’m pretty sure it was spelled like this right?) Ovens. What an obscure thing to work into a comment.

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    Replace Miguel with Jesus and we’re good. But wait that’s 2018. And that would be ridiculous.

  • Leslie Knope

    My favorite part: “I thought about extending this to 2017 as well, but that would just be ridiculous.”

  • Johnny

    WHERE’S JOSEPH VOTTO IN ALL THISOh wait, I see, there’s no room. Well, that’s okay.

  • Steve

    Where is Hughes in all this? After his incredibly easy to predict bounce back this year to being an ace, I would think that there would be room for him, even on this team.

    • Mykey

      Back to the pen.

  • Scout

    You mean this post wasn’t serious? Oh.

  • Moboy

    Why should Cano still be on this team after 2013? The Yankees should let him go and save $25 million which is what Scott Boras would want.

    A $25 million second basema who is 31 isn’t smart.

    • Total Dominication

      The amount of players to make 25 mil a year for long contracts 2: Pujos and A-rod. And they are 2 of the top 10 players of all time. Cano is not in that group, 20 mil a year is more likely.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Clearly they’re cheap and not trying if they don’t have a $100,000,000,000 payroll by 2020. I mean, this is the Yankees we’re talking about. It’s not our money. World Series or complete failure. 2008 was the worst year of aaaaaall tiiiiiiime.

  • JobaTheHeat62

    lol A-ROD the 8 hitter. sick

  • Al

    Seems like it would make more sense if Feliz closed and Pineda was #5. I realize Feliz will start this year, but why did you list them this way? Joe, you should revisit this post in those years, it would be fun to do a “where are they now?” thread.

  • Adam Parker

    I call BS. Any FA list that doesn’t include signing King Felix is just wrong. The Yanks have tried to get him for years.

    • Adam Parker

      My bad, you took Kershaw instead. I still call BS.

  • Juke Early

    Unnamed sources have seen the NYY secret 2014-15 budget –
    1million USD allocated for Power Bowl tickets. . ..

  • G

    Verlander in the rotation and Kershaw as a LOOGY or I’m no longer a Yankees fan.

  • billyjoe

    Are you sure the 10 year old yankee fan version of you didnt write this? this would be almost better than all star teams if not better and anything less than 5 consecutive titles would be a joke.

  • Tony

    Its nice to dream when you dont have to worry about a budget.