Mar
03

Cashman talks 2014 payroll plan

By

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Owner Hal Steinbrenner confirmed that the Yankees intend to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold by 2014 the other day, simply saying they don’t need to have such high payrolls to contend. He’s right, and I think we’re all in favor of the team being a bit smarter with its money. Building a core from within and augmenting the roster with strategic free agents sounds fantastic in theory, but putting it into practice is much more difficult. Yesterday it was Brian Cashman‘s turn to chime on in future payroll plan. Here are some select quotes courtesy of Chad Jennings

On payroll flexibility in the past vs. payroll flexibility in 2014
“I met with Mark Teixeira in D.C. (during the ’08-’09 offseason). They had no interest in pursuing that. It’s something I had massive interest in. I kept staying on it, and it was ‘No, no, no.’ It felt like (Hiroki) Kuroda this winter. (Ownership was saying) ‘No, we’re not going to stretch the payroll. Unless you move money, you can’t make that fit.’ At some point [ownership] made an adjustment. Going forward, especially in that particular year, that is not going to happen. This is something where there’s a strong motivation from a business reason because of how the new basic agreement is set up to get to that level for that year, no question. At the same time, it’s business as usual in terms of, the general manager’s job is to constantly bring to their ownership opportunities. My owner says yes more and his family has said yes on behalf of this franchise more than no when their GM asks for something. We’ve been very fortunate as a Yankee fan base and blessed for a long time by that. That, I think, will continue. But instead of being it being a set budget number that we’re trying to stay within, I think this is a more definitive lane that we’re going to have to bowl within. The safety lanes have now gone up for that year, and you can’t throw a gutterball on that particular year.”

On whether the new CBA hurts the Yankees more than other teams
“I don’t want to say it hurts the Yankees as much as, this is the landscape that everybody has to operate in. The only thing is, how does this landscape affect us with our current commitments? Decisions we made from the past will affect decisions in the short term going forward, until some of those contracts expire, or you move them at some point. A lot of those contracts, not that you want to trade them, either have full no-trades or 10-5 rights, so some of those circumstances you just have to hope they stay healthy and productive and they are finishing your career type contracts with the Yankees and you hope that you can maximize your potential with them all, but it will limit your array of choices on those contracts term years because those are legitimate commitments that affect the bottom line.”

On whether a set budget actually makes his job easier
“It’s easier when you have parameters. It was very difficult when it was just a general (rule). It would change on a daily basis, which was, ‘Don’t lose the player at all costs.’ That wasn’t a good negotiating position. And if it’s very vocal, and at the same time it’s public and private, you’re in a position to basically get rolled. It’s a one-way negotiation. Having parameters allows you to walk away. Having parameters gives you the ability to say no, and mean it, versus fake a no or try to pretend something when everybody realizes, oh, they can’t lose this guy. It’s an impossible position to negotiate from.”

The stuff about having a set budget improving the team’s negotiating position is interesting; we’ve certainly seen the club overpay for players the last few years, specifically when it comes to retaining their own. Cashman also went out of his way to mention that some of the their “current commitments” will make getting under the luxury tax threshold difficult, and they’ll just “have to hope they stay healthy and productive.” That applies to several players, but one in particular. One he wasn’t planning on re-signing back in the day.

As has been the case for the last 18 months or so, Cashman was pretty candid and honest, which is refreshing. It’s close to impossible to put a positive spin on slashing payroll, but I think he (and Hal) did a decent job of relaying the message by being blunt and not sugar-coating things. They know the team is going to have to get production from young players to make it work, and they know they have big contracts already on the books that will make it difficult. The Yankees being run in a smarter and more efficient manner should scare other clubs, but I think the brain trust knows it’s going to be a hard sell with the fanbase.

“We’re still the Yankees,” said Cashman. “We’re still going to outspend everybody else. That’s not going to change. We’re still going to be there for our fan base, and try to make sure that every year is a year that they have legitimate hope that this could be a special season. That’s never going to change.”

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

    Would someone please remind me what the luxury tax would be for us after 2014 if we get under $189mm in ’14 but surpass $189mm thereafter?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Once it resets, the next time the Yankees go over the tax will be 17.5%.

      • CJ

        What happens if they can only cut it down to say 191? They reduce but miss the 189 mark, what’s the difference?

        • whozat

          Still over the threshold, so no reset takes place, leaving them on the hook for about 50% of the overage in the next season instead of 17.5. And then it compounds from there.

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

        Thanks. And how long does the 17.5% rate hold. If its for say 5 years or more then good times will surely be here again :)

        • Needed Pitching

          its only for the first year over the threshold. If they stay above the threshold, the rate will rise to 30% the next season, then 40%, then back to 50%

        • RetroRob

          I don’t think it’s the luxury tax that’s driving this. What’s missing from the conversation is that for the first time a large-market team like the Yankees that avoids going over the tax threshold is now eligible to get a portion of its revenue-sharting money returned. Some estimates have that worth between $40-$50 million a year to the Yankees, although I don’t anyone really knows since exact revenue-sharing numbers aren’t released as far as I know.

          The difference between paying a 17.5% tax rate and a 50% tax rate on the overage isn’t enough to cause the Yankees to fall below $189 million. It might mean a savings of $10 million or so for the Yankees. Nice, but not critical in the decision-making process. A potential $50 million in savings though seems to have caught Hal’s attention.

          Of course, there is the possibility the Yankees are bluffing, using the $189m threshold as leverage to try and negotiate down future contracts.

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

            Lulz at revenue sharting :)

            Thanks for that added point. I hadn’t considered that angle.

            That said, I think the issue is less that it’s “not that much money” as you point out, than it is the psychology at the margin of offering a FA a deal of $X at this point knowing that it amounts to $1.5X. You’re not paying that player that extra money of course but on some level I think the psychology is there.

          • Needed Pitching

            I don’t think that 40-50M a year figure is anywhere near reality. The original Sherman article estimated 10M possible refund for 2014 and 40M total if they stay under in 2014-2016, iirc. The revenue sharing refund is only from money returned in the new market disqualification program, so its only money that would have gone to top 15 market teams (excluding Oakland until their stadium situation is resolved). There are only maybe 1-2 teams that would actually have to return revenue sharing money in this plan (and only 50% of their revenue sharing money in 2014, 75% in 2015, before finally 100% in 2016), and that is the pool of money the Yankees would be eligible to get a refund from.

            • Plank

              Thank you for pointing this out. The revenue sharing money would be 50% of the money paid to the Nationals (maybe the Blue Jays, too?) so a few million dollars. The Yankees pay about 100MM total in revenue sharing, so the amount paid to a mid-revenue team in a big market like the Nationals can’t be more than a few million. They would save half of that.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “That applies to several players, but one in particular. One he wasn’t planning on re-signing back in the day.”

    I’m no Cashman hater, but I think this line of reasoning/defense has to be retired at this point. Yes, to our knowledge, Cashman probably wasn’t the driving force behind the A-Rod deal, but Cashman has signed plenty of players to expensive, long-term deals on his own.

    • Jamey

      I will agree, because he was planning to re-sign A-Rod to a big contract before the opt out became the spectacle that it did & Boras began trying to get the Yankees to bid against themselves, which illogically still ended up working.

      • Don W

        Didn’t Cashman say publicly that if A-Rod opted out they weren’t going to pursue him? Then Hank rides in and hands out one if not the stupidest contracts in history.

        How do we not consider this when evaluating Cashman. There’s over $40 million on the payroll right now that he wanted no part off. Add back in $10m or so for A-Rod’s replacement and the Yanks are pretty close to their goal already.

    • Ed

      If Cashman gave out similar contracts I’d agree, but A-Rod’s is the largest ever. It took until this offseason for another player to break $200m, yet his contract can be potentially be worth $300m. It’s a huge outlier. At least with the Tex and CC contracts other teams have given out similar deals.

      • Havok9120

        This. It was so out of character looking back at it that I think we have to take it into account. Especially since it seemed pretty clear at the time that Cash wanted very little to do with Boras and the negotiations.

    • RetroRob

      …which has nothing to do with the statement.

  • Jamey

    My problem with the system is it really doesn’t address the problem, which is the inflated salaries. I have no problem setting a bar where there are penalties for going over, but I think the fair solution (one which obviously the MLBPA would never let happen) would be a max salary & sort of slotting it like “Okay, you can have as many MAX players as you want, but remember you have to fill your roster & stay under this payroll or you’ll pay a tax”. Honestly I think teams have tried to operate that way since the luxury tax was instituted but the issue is that you can’t just bank on having that salary slot available because the player you want takes a look at the max players & says “I want more than that” & this basically continued every year until you get to a point like now where Carl Crawford makes more than OF’s that are way better than he is & only because he was a free agent after they signed their deals. I think it would make free agency more interesting if everyone interested could pay the same salary, if that was the case you as a GM & organization WOULD actually have to sell your community, city & organizational direction, no more BS like Mike Hampton saying he went to Colorado because of the schools. Free Agency has become a charade of “prettiest girl at the dance” courting where they get made to feel special for a month before ultimately making all of those pitches worthless & choosing either the team they intended to sign with all along or the one that offered the most money.

    Maybe its terribly naive, & since I’m not an expert on the infrastructure not doubting it may be incorrect but anyway I just wish MLB would look into legitimate ways to “fix” the system that aren’t just different spins on the same old thing. Honestly The Yankees declaring they will try to avoid paying the luxury tax could be seen as their way of trying to end the system because it would also be terribly naive to think MLB & the other owners don’t like getting that extra profit every year because The Yankees are over the luxury.

  • Ro

    I might be in a limited camp with this thought, but I’m convinced the Yankees approach Arod after 2013. I’ve always found Arod to be a pretty reasonable guy and I wouldn’t rule out he and the Yankee’s restructuring his contract. Not the total dollars, just how it’s paid out. He’ll have about $90mm remaining over about 4 years at that point. Who’s not to say that the Yankee’s work something out where they spread it out over 10 years which carries into retirement? I’ve suggested this before and people have said it’s not possible, but I actually think there is a very good chance something could get done. I have no problems with Arod and I have no issue with the money spent. It is what it is and part of the game.

    • Jamey

      if the Yankees are at a point where they’re a contending team with his play in decline I could see something happening where he’d consider that if he could pad his resume with a couple more chances at rings. If they’re just a team “in the hunt” so to speak, he wouldn’t have much incentive to do that.

    • DM

      I don’t know if it’s possible either, but I agree with you. It would be just like A-Rod to make an adjustment for positive PR if nothing else. I’m sure he won’t want to be the poster boy for why the Yankees can’t acquire that next player. He’ll work with them — if he can. I think others will as well.

      And I’m all for the austerity plan. I hate the idea of donating a cent to other teams — and there should’ve been some kind of provision in the new CBA regarding long-term contracts already on the books. Like Cashman said, they’re really dealing with past signings that were made without knowledge of these new rules. It’s still inherently a Yankee tax — which is absurd considering what they do for other teams home attendance numbers. Those teams should be giving the Yankees a % of their gate. The Rays draw more for a regular season Yankee series than their own playoff series. And Camden Yards sounds more like Yankee Stadium — on their feet clapping when Rivera strikes out Adam Jones to end the game.

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

        But the problem is that he then takes up a roster spot for those extra 6 years you’re tacking on in this example. And if not, I.e. they cut him after four years, then they have to pay a massive lump sum in that year which obviously has both cash flow and luxury tax implications in that particular year. It’s not a panacea, even if it would be allowed by MLB which is in question.

        • DM

          I never implied that it was a panacea. And I certainly haven’t dug into all the details of the new CBA. I’m just saying that if there’s an angle to be exploited here, they should/would do it. I hope by the time Cano is a free agent, they’ve figured out some creative ways around things — if possible. And like I said, it would be in the interest of the players (all of them in the game) to work with them.

        • Ro

          I wasn’t implying they “extend” Arod for additional years. I’m suggesting the “Bobby Bonilla”?? type of deal where the Met’s are paying him until 2025. Right? Isn’t he getting $1mm per year until 2025? Arod stops playing in 2017, but keeps getting paid for an additional 8-10 years. I’m talking about a general reworking of how the contract is paid, not having him play longer.

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

            I think the way luxury tax is calculated is tied to AAV for playing years. So even if they take until star date 2069.69 to pay A-Rod I think the AAV is still tied to playing years under contract.

            • Needed Pitching

              depending on if any or how much interest is paid on the deferred payments, they use present value of the future payments, so deferring money without interest, or very low interest, would slightly reduce the AAV, but doing so would likely get opposition from the MLBPA for devaluing the contract

      • Ro

        I agree with every word. Especially your first paragraph. Arod isn’t a bad guy, he gets it, he is sensitive to media and how he is portrayed. He certainly doesn’t want to be that guy that is in the paper daily in 2015 and 2016 being criticized at every turn “being paid $25mm” “old guy” “weighing the team down” and all that stuff. I suppose a more relevant question would be, what if Arod approached the Yankee’s about this? As I responded to Ted below, is that still considered manipulation of the system?

    • Mike HC

      I would think if the Yanks want to do that they would have to pay ARod more over that 10 year period. If they come to ARod and say, can we spread the money on the last 4 years of your deal out over the next 8-10, so we can save X amount of dollars, I would think the Yanks would have to give ARod a certain percentage of that money saved. This way everyone wins.

      But good outside the box thinking in general.

      • lavayank

        Why not make long term deals with low amount for 2014? For instance in 2013 you sign Swish for 3 years and $30 million. $12 mil each in 2013 and 2015 and $6 mil for 2014. Craft Cano deal same way.

        • Needed Pitching

          because luxury tax is based on AAV of the contract

      • Ro

        Or!! Instead of paying more, perhaps guarantee Arod a place in monument park and retire his number. I could see Arod seriously considering something like this. There is a lot of debate as to whether the HOF will induct him considering the HGH use (I still think he goes), but to guarantee Arod some type of forever recognition in exchange to restructure his contract, well, that’s not so bad? Again not paying him less or more, not extending his playing years. Total $86mm owed from 2014-2017. What if he is paid $10mm a year from 2014-2021 and $6mm in 2022?

        • Mike HC

          I think that everyone else commenting is right that all of these ideas are against the rules or won’t have an effect on the 2014 salary number.

          But, the general idea that something could possibly be done with ARod’s contract, to lessen the effect it has on the 2014 payroll, might be something smarter people than us and with more information might be able to figure out.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not sure it would be allowed. It would be a pretty clear way of manipulating the luxury tax system.

      • Ro

        It’s a fair point and something I considered already. On the surface, its appears to be a clear manipulation of the system, but let’s face it, there are loop holes with any contract, whether it be sports or real estate. Besides, in this case, I don’t see how MLB would be opposed since the total dollars are not changing and when it comes down to it, the Yankees are simply deferring the cost to later years, which instead of all the money being off the books in 2017, it could run until 2025 which still affects their bottom line when it comes to the luxury tax. $10mm is $10mm if be now or later.

        • Ted Nelson

          I’m glad you’ve considered it. Do you have any expertise on the MLB luxury tax or contract law in general?

          Besides MLB, the MLBPA is also unlikely to let it go through. They have stepped in once already to stop A-Rod from restructuring a deal because of the precedent it would have set.

          • Plank

            Do you have any expertise on the MLB luxury tax or contract law in general?

            Do you? Or were you just trying to attack someone in order to make your point sound better and his worse? What does his resume have to do with his views on this issue? It’s a baseball blog, it’s not for lawyers only. He’s wrong, but why be a dick about it?

            • Ted Nelson

              Mind your own business. I’m not attacking anyone.

              Ro said that they had considered the issue, and then proceeded to say why MLB would allow it. I did not say MLB would be opposed to it. I literally said: “Not sure it would be allowed.”

              If you’re going to butt-in to be a dick… maybe try being right once in a while.

              • DM

                “If you’re going to butt-in to be a dick… maybe try being right once in a while.”

                I’ll modify your statement above so it applies to you Ted. To do so, I just have to cut out the last 3 words.

                If you’re going to butt-in to be a dick… maybe try being right once.

              • Plank

                Why were you asking for his legal background?

                Let me give a more accurate view of what you “literally said (sic)”:

                Not sure it would be allowed. It would be a pretty clear way of manipulating the luxury tax system.

                Either you don’t think it would be allowed, or you don’t understand that if it is a clear circumvention of the rules, it wouldn’t be allowed. Which one is it?

                You wrote it is clearly manipulating the system. The league made it clear that isn’t allowed.

                Now you are saying you didn’t say it wouldn’t be allowed.

                The shuffle continues.

                • Ro

                  Thanks, Plank. Just throwing some ideas around. I never once said my way or the highway and every statement I made was followed by a question mark, suggesting that I was unsure, but wanted to add something “out of the box” to this discussion. Not sure where Ted is going with this, but hey on the internet, it’s very easy to have things misinterpreted. Take MLBTR for example again. Their editors and moderators unfortunately have ZERO idea how to handle the comment section and they lack that out of the box thinking or they are all Red Sox fans. Not sure what’s true in that :).

          • Ro

            Ted,

            We’re all Yank fans here, let’s stay on the same team buddy.

            I prescribe you a bottle of vodka, two ex-lax and 14 electric shocks to clear out what it is that you’re dealing with..

    • Needed Pitching

      I seriously doubt it would be allowed. If it were just for the same money, MLBPA would consider it devaluing the contract and oppose it. Also, I’m sure MLB would challenge it with an arbitrator as an obvious attempt at luxury tax circumvention.

  • Beamish

    A-Rod+CC+Tex+37 League Minimums = HALF the $189 MM Budget (give or take a million or so).

    While the current farm system seems to have enough tolerably useful arms to fill out a pitching staff without breaking the bank I do not see the position players to compliment, on the cheap, the $50-$55 million worth of DH/1B they already have to pay.

    It will be interesting to see how Cashman juggles this since Cano will also take a huge bite out of that $94-ish million left. Hank & Hal almost deserve to lose Cano for giving A-Rod that contract just in a hope to get the All-Time Home Run record back in pinstripes.

    Cheer hard for Swisher now – he won’t be back. And I would not be shocked to see Granderson gone as well. Austin Romine will probably be catching without Martin to caddy in 2013 and 2014.

    2015 will be dar from a doomsday but it will definitely not be the depth of proven roster talent we have been spoiled by over the preceding 18 years.

    • Peter R

      Isnt the minimum salary going up a bit too?

    • CJ

      Without Cano and Granderson they are not a playoff team. And a league minimum-2 million in RF & DH & C won’t cut it either.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Take away any team’s two best position players and they are not a playoff team.

        • CJ

          Exactly. But that is the proposed threat of getting under 189. Cashman’s words about not having to retain a player are scary or empty threats.

          • Ted Nelson

            If those guys walk they’re not going to replace them with nothing…

            They aren’t empty threats. He didn’t say he doesn’t want to retain good players at reasonable costs… he said he doesn’t have to retain players no matter the cost.

            If they’re looking for A-Rod deals to stay with the Yankees, Cashman can bring them back to reality by telling them to find that deal elsewhere. When they don’t, he can either sign them at market rate or replace them.

          • Havok9120

            You don’t have to replace them with league minimum guys as neither of them is making the league minimum, but the days of “no matter the cost” are over, and we’re a better team for it. The math does not seem to back up the idea that either of your scenarios are serious possibilities.

            As for that nonsense about 1-2 million dollar DHs not cutting it…what was Jorge worth last year? I’d be stunned, STUNNED, if whatever we put out as DH this year is worse than last year. Dollars doesn’t equal production. We’ve proved that this last few years.

    • Ted Nelson

      They’re going to spend that ~$94 million dollars you’re referring to somewhere… I sort of doubt that they let Cano, Granderson, Swisher, AND Martin all walk with that kind of room to play with. If they do they’ll probably be replaced by other studs.

      • Beamish

        How does that math work? Those four players alone will cost $40-$50 million. Now you have, at best $54-ish million to sign 33 players

        Don’t forget it is the 40-man roster, not the 25-man roster.

        • Needed Pitching

          don’t think he’s saying they sign all 4, just that all 4 won’t be allowed to walk

          40-man roster guys generally make less than 100K, all 15 total cost usually less than 2M

          Realistically, they probably can’t sign all 4, expecially if Jeter exercises his option for 2014, but they can fit at least 2 of the 4

        • Ted Nelson

          I didn’t say that the Yankees will sign all of those guys. I said that it’s very unlikely that they let all of those guys walk and/or don’t bring in any expensive replacements.

          The math works. Consider how many pre-arb and arb players will be on the roster.

          Nova, Pineda, Nunez would all be arb-1. Cervelli would be arb-2. Robertson and Gardner would be arb-3. Any rookies from here on out will be pre-arb (a whole host of 4th/5th starter, relief options, and bench options: ManBan, Dellin, Romine, Phelps, Warren, Murphy, Slade, CoJo, Adams, Marshall, Mitchell, Kontos, Laird, Almonte, Montgomery, Stoneburner, Whitley…).

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    It sucks because those players were signed assuming the system wouldn’t change and that the Yanks could continue carrying a $210-220m payroll when necessary without additional penalties, so I realize that MLB has put them in a tough spot.

    The difference between $220m and $189m probably costs us 2 elite players. Under the old system the Yanks probably would keep Granderson on an extension and sign Hamels off free agency.

    It sucks, and it will weaken our championship chances, but the Yanks are still going to be one of the elite teams, and the setback will only be temporary as they adjust their finances. We’ll probably see some kids get a chance that may not have otherwise not have gotten a chance over the next 3-4 years.

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

      This is the problem with not having been offered amnesty to all existing payroll, or the ability to choose one contract to simply eliminate ala the NBA.

      • CJ

        I agree. Obviously a championship team can be built for less than 189. But not a team with ARod Tex Cc and Cano. The Yanks won’t be able to pull this off and win.

        • Ted Nelson

          Your argument is that it’s impossible? Really?

        • Steve (different one)

          What will have to happen is more trading of prospects for players with lower salaries.

          But saying it is impossible is kindof crazy.

        • Havok9120

          Good Lord man. Doom and gloom much? In order for that to be true, at least 3 of those 4 would need to fall off a cliff productivity wise. If they become black holes, its impossible. If they perform to their ability, they’re the core of an amazing team. If they preform to recent history, they’re the core of a very good team.

          Step away from the ledge.

  • Mike HC

    It is not like Cashman and the Yanks didn’t know that the collective bargaining agreement was going to run out and be renegotiated though. So every decision they made in the past regarding long term deals should have taken into account that the new collective bargaining agreement could look a lot different. There was the unknown factor which was unavoidable, but it is not like the decisions made in the past were completely in a bubble.

    • DM

      I don’t buy it. The Yankees should’ve passed on contracts without knowing what the changes might be? You can’t construct a team based on what might happen under a new CBA years down the road. I don’t see how these new terms could be even remotely anticipated. How do you take it into account? What if something favored situation? It doesn’t help much to know it’s coming — but not know what it may contain.

      • Mike HC

        You can aim to not make permanent commitments because of that unknown. I’m not saying the Yanks made the wrong decisions though at all. Maybe the best move was to operate as if nothing was going to change and then adjust when the times come.

        Similar to the NBA recently, teams didn’t want to make long term commitments knowing that the economic landscape of the league could turn out very different. In the NBA, a ton of teams are always up against the cap, and knew they didn’t want to lock themselves in to huge deals. In baseball, only a few teams are ups against the cap, and those teams needed to consider the possibility of things changing.

        • Mike HC

          I will also add, just like many of the best college players in the NBA decided to stay in college last year, because they didn’t want to make long term decisions with an uncertain economic future.

          • DM

            I’ll defer to your NBA expertise b/c I know less than nothing about their economics — but I will say that a college player’s personal context is a different animal altogether.

            CC and Tex are two of the big money long-term deals that will greatly affect the Yankees financial choices going forward, right? When they were free agents they were going to get big money long-term deals from some team, right? Do the Yankees pass — or offer something much less — based on what might happen with the CBA? Do they win the World Series without them? Would they have acquired them without offering those huge deals? Bird in the hand.

            I wouldn’t change my job or invest differently today b/c we might have a new President and Congress that might pass this tax bill or that tax bill years down the road. You play by current rules b/c that’s all you have.

            • Mike HC

              I think what you are saying is taking into account the possible changes. You are acknowledging you are aware that there could be major change, but decide to ignore it and operate as if things will stay the same. And then you have accept the consequences of that decision.

              That is all I’m saying with the Yanks. It is not like Cashman thought there was going to be a deal in place for next 20 years and got blindsided by this new agreement. When he signed CC, Tex etc …, he knew their deals were going to run over into the new CBA, which may or may not have had major changes.

              • DM

                All I’m saying is that knowing a new CBA is on it’s way can’t change your strategy without some knowledge of what’s in it. You said they weren’t “blindsided” by this new agreement; they weren’t blindsided as to it’s timing — but everyone was blindsided as to it’s content or changes. And not to mention that they could’ve re-upped with little or no changes going forward just as easily.

                And yes, you do accept the consequences of that decision — but that decision is inherently uninformed. Imagine if the Yankees had backed off these years out of fear of this unknown. Is that a smarter strategy? They could say, “See?! That’s why we didn’t ante up for Tex 3 years ago.” — leaving out that we lived with a Miranda/Vasquez platoon at 1st or something, and missed the playoffs two of the three years.

                • Mike HC

                  I’m with you. The Yanks made a good decision to try to field the best team possible without worrying too much about what the new CBA might change.

  • OldYanksFan

    The truth is, even if we gave ARod a more realistic contract, say 8/$200m, the AAV diff would be $7.5m, or an extra Tax of $3m/yr. The cost/risk against ARod getting the HR record, or even ‘just’ bettering the Babe, was well worth it. Also:

    2008 – 4,247,123
    2007 – 4,271,083
    2006 – 4,243,780
    2005 – 4,090,440
    2004 – 3,775,292 ARod on Yankees
    2003 – 3,465,600 WS Loser
    2002 – 3,465,807
    2001 – 3,264,847 WS Loser
    2000 – 3,227,657 WS Winner
    1999 – 3,293,259 WS Winner
    1998 – 2,919,046 WS Winner
    1997 – 2,580,325
    1996 – 2,250,877 WS Winner

    You can NOT definitively say that the jump in attendance was due to ARod, but ARod’s 1st 5 years saw average attendance be more than 1,000,000 higher then the average of the Dynasty years. If ARod was responsible for only 20% of that, he probably generated an extra $20m per year for those 5 years.

    I do think the contract was a bit nuts, but ARod is a once in a generation player. If he beats the Babe, he will be remembered forever, but his contract will be fogotten before he retires.

    Jeter’s contract was worse in some ways. The Yanks KNEW he would be lucky to be worth an average of $10m (or 2.2 WAR) over the life of the contract (1.3 bWar/2010, 0.7 bWAR/2011). That extra $7m/yr is the difference between a replacement level player and a very good player.

    • RetroRob

      There is some truth to this. The Yankees investment in A-Rod went beyond his on-the-field contributions. Certainly not a surprise that Goldman Sachs, an investor in the YES Network, helped open the door for A-Rod’s return. They have a much better understanding of A-Rod’s impact on the YES Network, additional dollars earned, etc. We have none of that knowledge.

    • Havok9120

      Agree completely. ARod’s contract has become a bit of an albatross on the field (despite his still very good performance there), but I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t turn out profitable for the team. The only way it won’t be is if his power outage keeps him from continuing his climb up the HR charts.

  • aaaa

    I like that the Yankees will have to give young players more opportunities going forward.

    Also this 189 is not about paying luxury tax but all about getting revenue sharing rebates.

    • Needed Pitching

      they’d be saving much more in the form of payroll cuts and luxury tax savings than they would get in revenue sharing rebates

      • aaaa

        You don’t know what you are talking about! The Yankees if they are under the threshold from 13-16 can save over 300 million with rebates. Now it does not look good for 2013 so that takes the 4th year 100% rebate off the table.

        • Needed Pitching

          the rebate isn’t a % of their total revenue sharing, it’s only a % of what they pay to big market teams that are now being phased out of revenue sharing eligibility. So basically they would only be eligible for a pro rated share of any revenue sharing received by the Blue Jays or Nationals, as they are the only big market teams that would currently be impacted by the new market disqualification program. It’s been estimated that it would amount to a total revenue sharing refund of about 40M total if the Yankees stayed under the threshold from 2014-2016.

          Nowhere near 300M in revenue sharing rebates.

          • aaaa

            The rebates are 25% in 13, 50% in 14, 75% in 15 and 100% in 16 of the money an individual team pays in if under the threshold for all 4 years. The Yankees pay the most in revenue sharing so they stand to get the most back! If under all 4 years it is most definitely a huge number!

            If you do not believe me read the CBA! To get the Yankees to curb spending can only be accomplished by making the incentives very enticing! The CBA does just that!

            • Plank

              50% of the revenue sharing the Yankees send to the Nationals is certainly a huge number compared to my salary or (I assume) any of ours, but I would imagine it would only be a few million dollars.

              I have read what’s been released of the CBA!! The actual CBA hasn’t been released yet, just the basics!!! These exclamation points are fun!!!!

            • Needed Pitching

              not sure if you’re serious or not.
              The rebates aren’t % of all revenue sharing they pay.
              Big market teams that currently receive revenue sharing, excluding Oakland, will forfeit 25% of their Revenue sharing in 2013, 50% in 2014, 75% in 2015, and 100% in 2016. This applies to only top 15 market teams that receive revenue sharing, of which their are only one or two. That money goes into a pool, which is distributed pro rata to teams that pay into revenue sharing and are under the luxury tax threshold.

              From the MLB press release:

              The fifteen Clubs in the largest markets will be disqualified from receiving revenue sharing by
              2016. The revenue sharing funds that would have been distributed to the disqualified Clubs will
              be refunded to the payor Clubs, except that payor Clubs that have exceeded the CBT threshold
              two or more consecutive times will forfeit some or all of their refund.

  • Januz

    The reality of the matter is the Yankees will be hamstrung a bit with the Rodriguez contract, but the fatal mistake that fans seem to make is they look at bad contracts in a vacuum, instead of realizing that offsets occur, which lessens the impact of the contact. For example:The contracts of Soriano, Swisher, Granderson, Rivera, Koroda, Martin, and Cano end before 2014, and even Jeter’s will be reduced for that season, and for some of them (Such as Soriano and Swisher)the WAR (Wins Above Replacement)number will be marginal at best. The only one I project being back for the 2015 season is Cano, and even that is questionable because of the Boras factor. For that reason, things will be ok.

    • Mike HC

      Things will be ok because we will let our entire team go and keep only guys over 35 on bloated deals?

      • Mike HC

        I should say over 33.

        And I’m just messing around a little, I know what you saying.

    • Reggie C.

      That’s quite a list of salaries that won’t be on the post 2014 ledger, but the Yankees will almost certainly need to bring back one of Cano or Granderson.

    • Ted Nelson

      Swisher’s WAR is “marginal?”

      • Havok9120

        He sux in teh play0ffs!!1!one

    • OldYanksFan

      So in 2 years, when Jeter and ARod are having wheel chair races, they might NOT bring back Cano…. their best offensive player and lifetime Yankee?

      The Yankees will save money on Pitchers. My guess is we don’t spend an extra dime on the SR or BP in 2014. If they need to save more, Martin goes.

      Say… Soriano, Rivera, Koroda, Martin, Feliciano, Chavez, Garcia, Ibanez, Jones and Burnett obligations are all off the books. Thats somewhere around $66m (AAV).
      If Jeter decides to retire after 2013, they add another $13m.

      There will be rasies to everyone left, but if need be, EVERYONE on that list can be replaced internally.

      So our starters could be the same as they are now, except at Catcher…. and we don’t get a lot of offense from Martin.

      If we let go of Cano, Swisher or Granderson, there are no replacements without a BIG tradeoff in offense. They will have be be replaced in kind, and that won’t save money, except comparing a decent 2nd baseman to a great one.

  • mt

    Let’s also hope that 2014 only sees one AROD $6 million incentive (probably for 714 home runs). I think that will be a full direct hit to the $189 million cap. Too bad there is no NBA-like amnesty clause when you can dump one contract for cap or luxury tax purposes. If so, Yanks contract to dump would be AROD.

    Strategy relies on

    1) probably letting Swisher and/or Martin go
    2) letting Joba/Hughes go (or trading them for offense)
    3) probably paying a lot for Cano or Granderson, not both – Cano is preference (home-grown, younger than Grandy, can move to 3rd) – I would see Yanks focusing on Cano and then only signing Grandy if Cano/Boras take too long or are too exorbitant in their demands
    4) not spending big dollars on bullpen – more Wade/Aardsma type deals and no more Soriano overpay. 3rd year arbitartion eligible Robertson would be 2014 closer.(For that and other reasons, I would use Soriano as closer in 2013 if Mo retires in 2012.)
    5) and probably the biggest question mark – having some of starting pitchers develop to either start as low-cost starters for Yanks or be pieces to trade for younger, cost controlled offensive talent. Not suer there is anyone in Yankees system who projects as a possible outfield or second base starter in 2014.
    6) probably need to let go of my Cole Hamels rosterbation.

    • CJ

      Cano is going to get 18-22/yr. Let granderson walk and they will have huge holes to fill in CF, RF and DH or 75-90 HRs and power is expensive.

  • Mike

    I assume if the payroll is going down the prices at stadium will come down too.

    • Needed Pitching

      yeah, that’s how that works

      Prices have nothing to do with supply and demand.

    • Havok9120

      Yes because, as we all know, ticket revenue is used purely for the upkeep of the team. Any other use, especially profit, is unacceptable.

      Wait, what?