Mar
12

A-Rod’s role in the Yankees $189 million plan

By

Via Reuters Pictures

One day, very soon, the figure $189 million will disappear from these pages. It’s a hot topic now, for sure. But that’s only because there’s no meaningful baseball. Once the games begin, it will be time to remove two-years-distant speculation and focus on the team taking the field. Until then, $189 million will remain prominent. And there might be no more prominent aspect of it than Alex Rodriguez.

The biggest obstacle the Yankees face in reaching the $189 million goal is their collection of existing contracts. They currently have three players under contract for 2014, and their average annual values are all over $20 million. Mark Teixeira will cost them $22.5 million on the luxury tax, and CC Sabathia will cost them $24.4 million. Alex Rodriguez, however, will cost them the most. Not only is his average annual value $27.5 million, but he has a number of milestone escalators that could kick in around that time. He remains the team’s biggest obstacle to attaining its goal.

In terms of the $189 million payroll level, the escalators in A-Rod‘s contract could hurt more than the average annual value. If he reaches those milestones in 2014, he could send the Yankees over their luxury tax threshold, ruining the entire plan. Of course, his $27.5 million average annual value hurts as well, since it’s the highest in the game. Yet there could be a way the Yankees could take care of both problems with one move. They could re-work A-Rod’s contract.

Joel Sherman wrote about this idea recently. Some of the ideas he proposed make sense. For instance, approaching A-Rod about the extension following the 2013 makes the most sense. That gives the Yankees two years to determine if Alex can actually stay on the field for prolonged periods. They’ll also have a better idea of when he’ll activate his home run milestones. That can help inform them on the new contract.

Sherman proposes an actual contract extension, totaling five years and $100 million. After the 2013 season A-Rod will have four years and $86 million remaining on his deal, plus escalators. The extra year, then, would be to essentially drag out the contract and provide luxury cap relief, while the $14 million would go towards guaranteeing some of his home run milestone bonuses. That does extend Rodriguez until he’s 43, but it does provide considerable cap relief — $7.5 million, to be exact. That would go a long way for the Yankees.

If Rodriguez hits his 660th, but not his 714th, home run before the end of the 2013 season, the reworked contract would total 11 years and $295 million guaranteed. That could be good enough a guarantee to entice him. After all, that guarantees him payment for Nos. 714 and 755, plus another $2 million. He might lose out a bit if he does indeed hit No. 763, but considering his health that’s some wishful thinking. Again, that’s why both he and the Yankees will want to wait until after 2013 to discuss this.

Where the Yankees could actually save is by working within the parameters of the old deal to create a new, cap-friendlier one. Because of the time value of money, teams often backload player deals. But the Yankees front-loaded Rodriguez’s. Again, after the 2013 season he’ll have four years and $86 million remaining, for an average annual value of $21.5 million. If the Yankees simply re-worked the deal under the same terms as previously, they could save $6 million per season on the luxury tax. They’d still have the home run escalators, though they could get creative in that manner, as Sherman suggests.

As long as Rodriguez is guaranteed more money than previously, chances are MLBPA will have no issue with the two parties re-working a deal. They have stepped in previously when Rodriguez tried to re-work his deal; he tried to take less money to facilitate a trade to Boston after the 2003 season, but the union would not allow it. But 10 years later, the Yankees won’t be trying for the same end. They’d instead guarantee Rodriguez more money. In exchange, they’d improve their cap figures.

MLB might not like it, but it would likely take Bud Selig invoking the “best interests of Baseball” clause to act against it. Even then, it’s hard to prove how it runs counter to Baseball’s best interests. It’s not as though every team has front-loaded contracts on the books. Most backload, making such a maneuver impossible. But in this one instance, the Yankees have an advantage. How could anyone argue that reworking Rodriguez’s deal — and handing him more guaranteed money in the process — runs counter to Baseball’s best interests?

Again, we have a while before any of this comes to the fore. Rodriguez still has two more seasons before his contract becomes an issue. After hitting the DL for four straight seasons, he has plenty to prove on the field. But come 2014, the Yankees could use his contract to their advantage.

Update: Commenter Needs Pitching notes that the savings might not be all that great. It would still amount to a few million, though, and the Yankees can use every possible dollar at this point.

Categories : Front Office

68 Comments»

  1. jsbrendog says:

    hank steinbrenner now thinks he did the right thing.

  2. Cdibs says:

    “How could anyone argue that reworking Rodriguez’s deal — and handing him more guaranteed money in the process — runs counter to Baseball’s best interests?”

    Very easily, Selig is going to get to try to get a lot of pressure that the Yankees are ‘cheating’ to get under 189 M. People are going to want a fair playing field and many are going to think that that’s unfair.

    • JohnC says:

      How could other clubs feel its unfair when the Yanks are trying to ‘lower’ payroll for once?

      • Mike Axisa says:

        Wouldn’t that be something?

      • Cdibs says:

        Because they truly aren’t ‘lowering’ payroll, just finding a way to dodge it and still have all of these star expensive players. You honestly think the lower-market teams are going to like this?

      • gageagainstthemachine says:

        IMO, other clubs can’t say squat considering a) the luxury tax was something devised to go specifically after the Yankees (and any team that chose to actually spend money on their team) and b) those small market teams have been taking the Yankees’ luxury tax money without a word knowing it benefits them.

        Other clubs have no right to complain in this matter, and if the Yankees can make it work they have every right to do it (and should do it) to throw it all back in MLB’s face as a message to the whole notion of the luxury tax in the first place.

        The real questions is why they didn’t just call it the “Yankee-hating Tax” in the first-place?

        • DM says:

          I agree with you, but it’s not a Yankee “hating” Tax — more Yankee robbing tax. They love the Yankees. The Yankees do more for attendance and tv ratings across baseball than any other franchise. I hope the Yankees attempt to exploit every loophole available to help their situation. Let the league officially challenge it. And imho, there should’ve been some provision for pre-existing long-term contracts with these new rules.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      doesn’t entirely matter what Bud or anyone else thinks, it would be settled in arbitration if MLB challenged it

      The Red Sox have frequently structured contracts/delayed extension announcements to try to game the luxury tax system without any consequences, I doubt there would be an issue with the Yankees doing this, especially since I would think the rest of MLB would be thrilled with the Yankees trying to lower payroll.

      • Dan says:

        I don’t know if every team would be thrilled with the Yankees lowering their payroll to get under the luxury tax because its taking away money that they have been receiving every year that the Yankees have been over the luxury tax.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          luxury tax proceeds don’t go directly to any teams, they are used for player benfits and the Industry Growth Fund (though less money going to benefits might make other teams pay more towards benefits)

          • RetroRob says:

            That’s true, although all the money the Yankees have contributed to the players’ fund, and toward international marketing, would have to be replaced collectively by all the other MLB teams. That’s almost $230 million and counting, or roughly $8 million per team.

            Not a crippling amount by any stretch, especially since it’s spread out over a number of years, but that’s still $8 million other teams each have not had to pay thanks to the Yankees.

          • Havok9120 says:

            *cough* World Domination Fund *cough*

      • MannyGeee says:

        but they’re the Red Sox. They have to be wily and creative in order to keep mup with the other teams in the league, being such liakable & scrappy underdogs and all…

        #2004logic

  3. MannyGeee says:

    yeah, that could be interesting. however, a 42 YO A-Rod scoffing about on one hip making $20M would be a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal bad look in 2017.

    • Slugger27 says:

      its going to look bad anyway. if the 189 number really saves them the tens of millions we seem to think it does, that could mean keeping a significant piece of the lineup around. 1 more year of arod is probably worth it in that case.

      • gageagainstthemachine says:

        Plus, does it really have to say in what capacity they would be paying him $20M that extra year. Who knows, maybe the Yankees will need a bench coach, third base coach, or ball boy in that extra contract year. Hell, couldn’t they just cut him pay the money he’s due and still save millions for the overall team’s benefit?!

        • Havok9120 says:

          I really would not be surprised at all to see ARod back in some capacity after retirement. I’d be more surprised (and dismayed) if he didn’t come back.

          Might as well start early. Heck, he’d be the first player/coach in awhile, and that’d be fun.

  4. Dan says:

    Would it make any sense to try to rework A-rod’s contract after this season? This would allow them to figure out how much money they will have under the luxury tax for players like Cano, Granderson, Swisher, or Hamels. The only potential concern I see with that is if he hasn’t reached his escalators yet, the 2013 season might end up raising his contract anyway.

  5. Needed Pitching says:

    Reading through the last CBA, it appears the luxury tax savings wouldn’t be 7.5M/year in this scenario.
    It seems the difference between what was previously taxed (27.5M x 6 years = 165M) and what was paid (275M contract minus the 86M remaining = 189M) would be added to the AAV of the new contract, so the 24M difference would be added to the new 5 year 100M contract for luxury tax calculations, resulting in a 24.8M AAV, still a savings, but not nearly as big.

    The Average Annual Value of such new Contract shall be
    increased or decreased, whichever is applicable, by the figure
    arrived at by subtracting the amount of Salary that has been attributed
    under the rules of this Article
    XXIII to a Club in previous Contract
    Years
    under the Contract that is being replaced from the
    amount
    that was actually paid to the Player by a Club in those Contract
    Years.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      So Sherman, who writes about this stuff for a living (he gets paid to do it), can’t do the appropriate research to determine his scenario won’t save the Yankees that much, but we (well, you, really) can. No wonder we don’t have much respect for the professional writers! Blogs and those who participate in them continue to provide the real value!

      • Carl says:

        And where does that leave JOE P.??? Take Sherman’s piece, add his personal opinion to it and call it a DAY?? LMFAO SAD, VERY SAD!!!!!!!!

    • Johnny O says:

      But if this is the difference that gets them below $189M (which I think saves them $50M tax), then it could be worth it.

      Hat tip on the research by the way.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        It might still be worth it, but it becomes less obvious. Is having the extra 2.7M to spend on someone else worth having him count for 24.8M (and still be on the team) in 2018. If ARod is within striking distance of the 714 HR bonus for 2014, it’s much more worth it, saving the 6M bonus in addition to the 2.7M, otherwise, it might be better in the long run to try to find the 2.7M savings elsewhere for 2014.

        • All Praise Be To Mo says:

          I think it would. IIRC, I read that you only need to be under 189mm for 1 year and the tax rate resets. They go under 189 for the year, and then after 2014 Felix/Verlander/Kershaw are all FA’s I believe.

          • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

            Right but the tax comes back the year after, just at a much lower rate. But, it continues to escalate from there. So, getting under $189mm is wonderful, but the benefit of doing so lessens each year going forward assuming the Yanks return to (much) higher payrolls.

            Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s a good idea to get under $189mm.

    • RetroRob says:

      Yup, but three million might be significant. The question, though, is it worth enough to actually give A-Rod an additional year, one which he may never play. That also means the Yankees will have that additional contract year to deal with in 2018, which will reduce their luxury-tax flexbility that year.

      Second, and perhaps more significant, is the new contract will remove the marketing/bonus clauses for HRs. It’s still not clear how these escalators will be caluculated into the AAV (is it a one-year hit, or averaged out over the remaining year of the contract, or is it averaged out over the length of the entire original deal?), but once he starts hitting them we know the AAV of $27.5M will be increasing, so the savings should end up being more than $3M per.

      Is it enough to do it? Beats me!

      • Needed Pitching says:

        Bonuses count in the year earned, so it would be a one-year hit when earned. I think it really depends on how close ARod is to 714 after 2013 to determine whether it would be worthwhile or not. Saving 2.7M in luxury tax space probably isn’t worth committing to an extra year of ARod. Saving 8.7M in space might be.

    • Mick McCarthy says:

      I was just going to post the same thing but decided to read through the comments first to see if anyone had touched on it. I t would be a savings but not the full amount the 7.5mm the writer stated.

  6. John says:

    I had a question regarding a way to minimze the AAV of Arod’s contract.

    Assuming that Arod’s current contract is his last why doesn’t the team give him a 10 Year extension at $2 Million a year (this number can change – it’s just a placeholder where the tax savings are greater than the cost of the per year salary) and then either outright release him and pay the difference or have him retire.

    This would give them considerable payroll flexibility.

    • Because that’s blatant abuse of the system. Just ask the NJ Devils.

      • JonS says:

        What about buying out his contract and then resigning him?

      • John says:

        Ok – maybe make it less blatant but with some tax incentive and player incentives. I was describing the extreme case but even a 3 year extension with guaranteed 5M a year may make sense and be a lot easier to explain to MLB.

      • All Praise Be To Mo says:

        Different sport, why not take a chance? Also, for Derek’s last player option year, if he’s done, why not an under the table deal to retire and not pick up the 8 million, and then sign him to a personal services deal worth more so he still gets his money but it’s not counted against the tax?

  7. Fin says:

    Wow, another year onto A-rods deal. Who would have thought we would be talking about that as a good idea? As it is his final 2 or 3 years have a high probability of being very ugly, now they might add a year to that. With Alex being possibly nothing more than dead weight or even released for the roster spot, we could be looking at 3 or 4 years of the Yankees working with, what would be essentially, a 170m payroll. I just have a hard time believing the Yankees get under the tax by 2014 and find it almost impossible to believe that they get there and stay there.

    • Tim says:

      They don’t need to “get there and stay there”. They only need to get under the threshhold in 2014 to eliminate the massive hike in luxury tax and get some revenue sharing money back. Then, if they go over the threshhold the next year, they’d be taxed at a significantly lower rate. The new CBA punishes repeat offenders, but the way it is written allows teams to step back under the threshhold and essentially “reset” the luxury tax should they go over the following year.

      • fin says:

        I realize, they dont have to stay there. HOwever, if we are going to take Hank’s word that they are going to get under the tax in 2014, we must take his word that they plan to stay there also. He did not say it was a 1 time thing. He was pretty clear he wants to get under and stay under the tax. I keep seeing people talk about the money this will save the Yankees and can be spent towards the Yankees in the future, but that is not what Hal said. This is a way for the Yankees to be a better run, more profitable buisness and put more money in the owners pockets. Again, it may happen some day, but with their long term commitments and huge payroll, the time line to get there, seems far fetched to me.

  8. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I’d have little issue with the team adopting Joe’s idea and challenging MLB to do something about it. That being said, I don’t spend much mental energy on Alex’s contract. What’s done is done.

  9. mike says:

    Frankly, so long as Betances can contribute to the ML rotation and the Yanks can placehold the #5 spot to Warren/Phelps et al, they will be fine at $189.

    Filling out the back end with Hughes, Freddy and Kuroda is costing them almost $18mm currently, and even if Nova and Pineda pitch well they are still cost controlled in 2104

    If Betances and (other) can fill out the rear, and CC and Pineda pitch as we all hope, IMO the Yanks will have the ability to get under the cap without really hurting the ML team.

    • fin says:

      Cano, Granderson, Swisher, Martin, Chamerlain, Hughes, Kurdoa, Garcia are all FA before the 2014 season, and all we need is Bentances to man a rotation spot? Almost half of the starting lineup is due for big raises or gone. Almsot half the starting staff will be gone or do for a raise. Its going to take more than Betances to work this out. LOL, I’m not saying its impossible (close to it) but certainly alot more is needed to go right than Betances. I’m jsut going to assume you forgot about Banuelos, but even if he and Betances or another young guy can be effective in the rotation, the every day players are big concern, as right now no one seems in position to step up to the majors by 2014 and replace those mentioned above.

      • Tim says:

        I think the reality of the situation (and something that you see a lot in other sports that will become more common in baseball) is the fact that of Martin, Cano, Granderson, Swisher, Chamberlain, Hughes, Kuroda and Garcia, maybe only 2 will still be on the Yankees in 2014. Certainly not Kuroda or Garcia, probably not Martin or Chamberlain, and possibly not Swisher or Hughes. Roster turnover is going to be much more prevalent, and quite frankly, why would you keep a Swisher at $12-14MM if you can get only incrementally lesser performance from a player making less than $2MM? The salary inflation that has propagated through the league for marginally improved performance is staggering, and the teams that figure this out and cut bait before these guys really start earning will be both profitable and successful.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          Which player making less than 2M (and that the Yankees can realistically attain) is going to give the Yankees only incrementally lesser performance??
          It’s true many of those players may not be Yankees in 2014, but they will need to replace their performance. It seems the Yankees may have pitching depth to replace most/all of the pitchers, but they don’t appear to have the near-term prospects to replace the hitters, meaning without signing/re-signing big bats, the offense will get significantly worse through age and attrition.

        • fin says:

          Its those margins that make the difference between being a playoff team or not. Who is this player that is a marginal difference between him and Swisher that will only make 2m? That sounds like a young cost controlled player which the Yankees dont have any of at this point. I would argue the drop off between Swisher and Dickerson is far larger than marginal. You could make the point they could find an 8m a year guy on FA that would be a marginal drop off, but you would have to have the right FA crop.

        • fin says:

          Turnover in roster is already common in baseball, just not for the Yankees. You cant really compare the Yankees to other baseball teams or other sports teams for that matter. They are an outlier. What has made the Yankees the brand it is today is winning. They win every year and with the geographic population and the tourist industry in NYC they pack the house. This has allowed them to build a 1.5b stadium, build the most successful regional sports network and increase the teams value to, who knows what. I have my doubts that the Yankees can win year in and year out while staying under the tax, other teams dont.
          Winning every year is paramount to the Yankees success, there are alot of other entertainment venues in the NY area. The Yankees have to keep wining to fill that stadium and pay the bills on it. As seen with the 80s Yankees a few years of loosing will empty Yankee stadium. Remember the talks of moving to NJ becasue they couldnt get fans to the Bronx? Hell just look at the Mets. THe stadium is becomming a ghost town in 3 years of loosing.

      • All Praise Be To Mo says:

        Cano- re-signed, hopefully asap to reduce the AAV on the deal
        Grandy- let walk after next year when he’ll be 33
        Swisher- offer arb after this year, I’ll take a high 1 year deal or let walk (easy to find a CO on a 1 year deal or we can trade some surplus pitching for a younger cheaper player (Dom Brown, I’m looking at you)).
        Martin- offer arb, worst case 1 year deal while we bring up Romine, or offer someone else a 1 year deal to split time with Austin while he learns the ropes.
        Joba- bye, plenty of younger cheaper arms for the bp.
        Hughes- see where he’s at midyear this year and then trade or hopefully re-sign/extend.
        Kuroda – bye, he’s a 1 year stopgap, always has been
        Garcia – bye, see above from last year

        We have Manny coming up taking a rotation spot, hopefully Betances too, but worst case Dellin can replace Joba in the pen. Mason Williams might be ready in 2 years as well to go to center or left and Gardner can cover center.

  10. Gonzo says:

    I read the title and thought to myself…villian?

  11. Kevin says:

    It would also help to extend Cano and Granderson now.

    http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/.....gans-39140

    • fin says:

      I would definately extend Cano now. Hes younger has a consistent career on an upward path, no one to replace him and his production at second base now, or even in a few years time. I would wait on Granderson. Granderson, had a career year, he will 33 when he his FA. I would want to see at what level Granderson is playing when he becomes a FA and see how guys like Williams, Santana and Heathcott develop. Its very possible Granderson is more in line for a Beltran type deal by the time hes 33 than a big money, long term deal. At that time its very possible hes not a centerfielder any longer for the Yankees and a better corner outfielder could be available (not better than last years Grandy, but better than a 33yr old Grandy).

      • Dan says:

        I agree… It’s better to give Cano a big 6 or 7 year deal now to minimize how much he will regress at the end of his contract. As long as he doesn’t completely fall apart between now and when his contract is up, the money and years will still probably be around the same. Going after Granderson should depend on if they are able to re-work Rodriguez’s contract after 2013. While you are right that Granderson might not be a CF by the end of his deal, they could always swap him and Gardner and move Granderson to LF.

        • fin says:

          Gardner is one of the main reasons I would wait to sign Granderson. As soon as Granderson drops off in fielding Gardner will take over and Granderson becomes a corner outfielder. What is the expected reasonable production from Granderson at the plate from his age 33 seasons to 37/38 seasons? I would say its safe to estime his 33-35 seasons at 25-30hrs, after that who knows. Becasue of how good Granderson is, I used 5 yrs as it seems likely if he keeps up his production someone would give him a 5yr deal.
          The Yankees dont need to keep Granderson, they could pay a younger corner outfielder with the similar production. While there is no one to replace a CF that hit like Granderson did last year, its possible to replace a 33yr old Granderson playing left field. I can certainly see a team paying more for Granderson to play CF for them than the Yankees will to have him play LF.

  12. johnnybk says:

    Do it the way they do in hockey. Give him ten extra years at the league minimum. You don’t expect the player to be on the team for those years, you just eat the 5 million and cut him loose

  13. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    Maybe the Yankees should just pay his contract as written. Attempt to save the 7.5 million on the backs of 24 other players. Its probably more like 21 other players or roughly 360K per player some bite the bullet more than others. Basicly, one or more players from the Yankee organization may be getting opportunities to play from triple AAA or trades could be made. Such as the RF situation or staying with younger pitchers other than FA’s such as Hamels, Cain generation. We do have Banuellos, Betances, Adams, etc,. We may have to trade for a position player with our strength at pitching or catching for a younger guy. You maybe watching Eduardo scissor hands everyday at SS with his backup of Tito Culver. There are a few ways other clubs have done it. Its just not the usual Yankee way which has worked one time in the last decade.

    I would not change Arods contract. Live with it and get it off the payroll.

    • fin says:

      I agree with everything you said. Get A-rods contract off the books as soon as possible. It seems pretty likely some sort of trade for hitting is going to have to happen. Hughes could very well be the key to that type of trade if he has a strong season. Nunez will probably never hit as well as Jeter did last year. He could however be an upgrade in the field if he gets his throwing under control and bring something to the table offensively with his speed. It could be a slight upgrade in overall game from what we have seen from Jeter the last few years.

  14. Ro says:

    Yeah, Joe. Think I touched on this subject a week or two ago with the potential trying to re-work Arod’s contract. I was hoping for some meaningful debate then from the editors. Glad that you did however post Shermans article as Arod and his contract is very important going forward. It’s a good discussion and I do believe there will be some minor re-working at some point following the 2013 season.

    I’m hoping to be awarded “the irrelevant commenter” prize soon so I can hang that next to my “banned on MLBTR for inciting meaningful discussion and not conforming to the commenting style of a 10 year old Red Sox fan” plaque.

  15. G says:

    I don’t know if A-Rod would take 5/$100M, but 5/$110M would guarantee him all his bonuses, and with that extra year of pretty much guaranteed play time he’d only have to average 19.14 HR/year to break the all-time record. Saving $5.5M or more (due to bonuses) annually is still huge. It could be the difference between Granderson and a guy like Kubel.

  16. Bryan V says:

    One thing Sherman pointed out in that article is that extensions count ON TOP OF the current contract. For example, CC’s current deal isn’t 5 years for $122m (AAV of $24.4m), but is 8 years and $182 million (AAV of $22.5m).

    He goes into Cano and Granderson, and says that extending them before they hit free agency would help keep their AAVs down thanks to an extension adding onto their current deal… not replacing it.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      this is not true. and its not what Sherman said. He clearly states this in the cases of Cano and Granderson. Extending Cano or Granderson now would include the new extension as well as the remainder of his existing contract in AAV, it would not include previous years on the contract. CC’s contract does count for 5/122, not 8/182. AAV is based on existing contract, not contracts that are no longer in effect (subject to possible adjustment described here: http://riveraveblues.com/2012/.....nt-3944141)

  17. longtimebomberfan says:

    If the Yanks are serious about getting to $189 or below, AND signing Granderson and Cano, they will need to do a creative salary dump…much the way they did with AJ. Maybe they could split Teixeira’s contract with somebody…he’s due $23 million. He’d be easier to move than A-Rod and there’s still some value there if the Yanks can pay for half his contract and dump the rest onto another team.

    • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

      Easier to move except for that pesky NTC.

    • LiterallyFigurative says:

      So the goal is to get rid of Mark Tiexeira to keep Russell Martin or Nick Swisher?

      I know we get fed up with the pop-ups, but his counting stats and 1b defense are still top-notch.

  18. Moboy says:

    Signing Cano would be a stupid idea long term. He’s a great player but you can’t sign second baseman after 30. I believe the yankees can get GRanderson cheaper.

  19. ND Mike says:

    The thought of adding more guaranteed money and another year to that albatross of a contract seems so surreal to me that I it boggles my brain. I understand why they would do it and it makes sense but he’ll be FORTY THREE and earning 10-20 million dollars for a part time DH. You think people are/will be upset about paying Jeter 14 million or so for the final year of his contract, wait until old A-Rod hobbles up there for a couple of hacks a game.

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  21. LiterallyFigurative says:

    The Yankees don’t have to extend A-Rod’s contract or dump Tiexeira or any of that nonsense.

    By all accounts, the team WILL be under 189 come hell or high water. The only question is how will the team be fashioned.

    To me the question is: What constitutes the core of your team, and what can you reasonably replace?

    The Yanks could have Hamels, Cano, and Granderson (somewhere around 65mil per), but would have to sacrifice Swisher and Martin. Or they could keep all of the position guys, and go without Cole Hamels. Or get Hamels, keep Cano and Martin (or Swisher), and bank on Mason Williams taking over for Granderson.

    To me, the development of Nova, Pineda, and Romine will play a huge role in which of the main free agents are retained, and who is sacrificed.

    For example:

    You could pay Cole Hamels a CC-esque AAV (23mil per), re-sign Cano (20mil per), Granderson (20 mil per). Sign David Robertson to a 4-5 year, arbitration years-cancelling deal to be the closer (8 mil per). Now, you’d have to let Martin and Swisher go. Zoilo Almonte can be your stop-gappish RF in 2014, or maybe you sign a decent corner OF for a year until Mason is ready (by which time Grandy can be the RF). Maybe the Yanks trade some of their surplus pitchers for an ok young OF (not asking for a megastar).

    The 2014 Yanks would be

    Romine (w/ veteran backup) – C
    Tex – 1b
    Cano – 2b
    Nunez – SS
    Arod – 3b
    Gardy – LF
    Grandy – CF
    Almonte/veteran corner -RF
    Jeter – DH

    With a rotation of
    CC
    Pineda
    Hamels
    Nova
    Banuelos

    and a pen of Robertson, Betances, and a good salaried setup man.

    That team squeaks in at 187 million dollars.

    *All we are concerned with is 2014 and avoiding the tax rate. 2015 can be business as usual.

  22. tim mccoy says:

    You can’t just re-word a front loaded deal to make the future AAV less. The Yanks have been including the 27.5mm AAV in the previous luxury taxes for bean counting purposes they can;t just wipe out the 33mm per year salaries A-rod has been paid by extending him on the back end of the front loaded deal. The front loaded money would not disappear it would be applied to the extension and increase the AAV.

    The best chance is to pay him for 2 more years, then eat salary and trade A-Rod with 4 years left. However any performance bonus would be charged to the team that gets him before the 2014 season.

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