2014 Payroll Breakdown: Part Two

The home grown Yankees, or Why the Yankee culture has to change
Barbarisi: Yankees held closed-door team meeting on Monday
Hooray for being (kinda) free next year? (Andy Marlin/Getty)
Hooray for being (kinda) free next year? (Andy Marlin/Getty)

For the last 18 months or so, almost every move the Yankees have made has been geared towards getting under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014. They’ve gravitated towards short-term contracts, in some cases choosing future financial flexibility over roster quality. It’s cost them on the field, but they are better positioned to get under the tax threshold.

The luxury tax, if you don’t know by now, is based on the average annual value of contracts on the 40-man roster. Players who are added to the 40-man late (called up, trade, etc.) or taken off early (released, traded, etc.) have their “tax hits” pro-rated. Performance bonuses count against the tax as well, as does each team’s portion of the league’s player benefits. The benefits are expected to jump from $10.8M to about $12M for 2014. Just like that, the $189M threshold is really $177M.

This post is Part Two because I actually did a Part One once upon a time, but that was all the way back in January. Obviously a lot has changed since then and the payroll situation is worth revisiting. Let’s start by looking at the 2014 contract status of every player currently on the 40-man roster. The salaries listed are “tax hit” numbers, not their actual take-home salary. That doesn’t matter for the luxury tax calculation.

Some fancy accounting at the time of the trades brought Soriano’s and Wells’ tax hits way down. Wells is actually free, and had MLB allowed it, the Yankees would have actually received a $2M credit against the luxury tax because of the way the money was structured. That won’t happen though, he just counts as zero dollars against the tax.

Given his self-proclaimed “nightmare” season, I have to think Jeter will exercise that player option. It’s very tough to see him opting out and getting more after looking very much like a 39-year-old shortstop whose body is broken down this summer. He could try it and maybe the Steinbrenners will cave, but it would surprise me. Also, that extra $7.5M in bonuses is really $7M because he won’t trigger any incentives this year. All told, Jeter’s current contract can realistically only max out at $16.5M next year.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, that player option year is treated as a one-year contract if exercised. It does not get lumped together with the first three guaranteed years of Jeter’s contract and averaged out. The bonuses are reachable but some ($4M for AL MVP) are more reachable than others ($500k for Silver Slugger). They’re in the contract though, and the Yankees have to account for them. Could you imagine barely staying under the threshold all year only to have Jeter blow it up by winning the MVP or something? That would be hilarious.

Anyway, adding Jeter to the “under contract” guys gives us a guaranteed $94.4M for seven players, or $101.4M when accounting for the $7M in bonuses. That leaves the team $75.6M under the $177M “real” threshold to fill 33 40-man roster spots. Fifteen of those spots will go to the extra guys stashed in the minors, where they make much less than the big league minimum. I’ve seen those spots estimated anywhere from $2-5M total, so let’s stick with the high-end and be conservative. Now the Yankees are at $70.6M to fill 18 big league roster spots.

Barring something completely unexpected, a big chunk of that money will go to Cano. His tax hit could end up in the $20-25M range. Suddenly we go from $70.6M for 18 spots to $45.6M for 17 spots. If the Yankees trust Pineda in the rotation and go with Stewvelli behind the plate again, they could fill eight of those 17 spots on the cheap with the arbitration-eligible guys. Gardner, Robertson, and Nova will be the highest paid arb guys, but none will get more than $6M or so and Gardner’s the only one who will realistically approach $5M. That trio could pull in $15M total on the high end, the other five guys about $7-8M total, just spit-balling. That brings us to $22.6M for nine remaining roster spots.

To use his words, the pink elephant in the room here is A-Rod. If his suspension is overturned, he and his $27.5M tax hit — he’s only 13 homers away from his first $6M bonus, so the team would really have to prepared for a $33.5M tax hit — will be on the roster and splitting time between third base and DH. If his suspension is upheld and he misses the entire year (believed to be the most likely scenario, but who really knows?), suddenly the team has an extra $27.5M to play with. They will need a replacement third baseman, however. The difference between a suspension and no suspension is $22.6M for nine roster spots or $56.1M for ten roster spots. It’s the difference between digging through second tier free agents or going on a nice little free agent shopping spree in the winter.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the team re-signs Cano, Jeter picks up his option, and A-Rod does indeed wind up missing the entire season due to suspension. This is the roster they’d be looking at based on the guys they have under contract/control:

Catchers Infielders Outfielders Rotation Bullpen
Cervelli 1B Teixeira CF Gardner Sabathia Robertson
Stewart 2B Cano RF Ichiro Nova Kelley
SS Jeter LF Wells/Soriano Phelps Claiborne
3B Nix OF Mesa or Almonte Pineda Nuno/Warren
Designated Hitter IF Nunez Nuno/Warren Betances
Wells/Soriano IF Adams or Cruz ?
?

There’s plenty of room for improvement with that roster, so having that $56M-ish to spend is more necessity than luxury. A legitimate starting catcher, a starting third baseman, an outfielder better than Ichiro/Wells/Soriano, a veteran starting pitcher or two, and a handful of relievers would be on the offseason shopping list. If A-Rod is not suspended, they still need all of that stuff (except for a third baseman), but will have only half the money to spend.

The Yankees have an awful lot of cash coming off the books this offseason, which is a very good thing as far as the payroll plan is concerned. The downside to having that money free is all the holes they have to fill. There’s a reason all that money is available — a whole bunch of important, centerpiece-type players are becoming free agents. The offseason should be fun because there figures to be busy with lots of moves, but make no mistake: the Yankees are not in a good position to get under that luxury tax threshold and remain competitive if A-Rod misses anything less than the entire season.

email
The home grown Yankees, or Why the Yankee culture has to change
Barbarisi: Yankees held closed-door team meeting on Monday
  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, that player option year is treated as a one-year contract if exercised. It does not get lumped together with the first three guaranteed years of Jeter’s contract and averaged out.

    This doesn’t appear to be true. According to the CBA, player options are treated like guaranteed years unless the buyout price exceeds half of the option price (Jeter’s doesn’t). It appears Jeter’s contract would have been treated as 4/$56M from the beginning for luxury tax purposes, resulting in a $14M AAV (actually slightly less, due to some of the money being deferred without interest). The $1.5M bonus he’s already earned would be added to the AAV in the year paid, making his 2014 luxury tax hit slightly less than $15.5M, unfortunately.

  • Neil B.

    That Ichiro contract looks even worse now than it did when it was first announced – not only is he not good enough to be a starting outfielder, but that $6.5 million could have gotten us a starting catcher (and for this season, if we’d been willing to stick with Martin).

    • trr

      I love Ichiro, but…..Yes.

    • Bubba

      That may be true, but our defense would have taken a hit by not having a right fielder.

    • jim p

      My hope is Ichiro gets his 4,000th career hit this year, realizes that the Yanks aren’t winning any pennants next year, and retires.

      • hogsmog

        It sure would be sweet if Ichiro could cobble together 1000 hits in the next few months ;)

        • Mikhel

          4,000 in his career as a pro baseball player.

    • Mac

      Agreed. There was an article recently saying that Cashman’s suggestion was bringing in Martin and Schierholtz, but ownership went with Ichiro instead.

  • Missing Pags

    Next year’s roster so far looks horrible. Absolutely horrible. Cmon, lets hear you guys spin it into something where they get Stanton, Headley, etc.

    Face the facts, while the run was nice and long, its over.

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      That roster IMO is a sub .500 team. The starting pitching is awful.

      • BeanTooth

        On the bright side, they’ll finally be able to taste some of that sweet, sweet low first round draft pick goodness.

        • JGYank

          Drafting earlier doesn’t make much of a difference IMO. That only really helps in the first round if there are a few standout players but you usually only have one pick anyway so that means only one moderately better pick. After the first round the gap between each pick is pretty small but there are still guys who can contribute which is why I think the bad farm system from drafting last thing is a bs excuse.

          • Mac

            You should look back at historic draft results on baseball-reference.com

            Drafting in the early first round makes a HUGE difference.

      • Mac

        Luckily it’s a speculative roster involving the Yankees signing only one guy all off-season.

    • JU

      Should’ve sold while they had the chance. This team never does anything proactive, and now they’re paying the price. They’re getting what they deserve.

      They could’ve traded Cano, maybe Kuroda, even Hughes and been on their way to rebuilding this organization. They could’ve even re-signed those guys in offseason if they wanted. But no, they wanted to make a “gesture” of a trade for Soriano in the off chance they get to play a one game playoff.

    • JGYank

      With our payroll, I think we can regain our footing quickly right after our bad contracts expire especially if we receive any help at all from the farm.

  • Pseudoyanks

    Extremely informative and accessible. Thanks. Could you explain the Affordable Care Act now?

  • Dr. TJ Eckelberg

    First, great job Mike, the payroll posts are awesome.

    3b is sort of the vexing problem. IIRC after looking through the 2014 free agents there is nothing worth spending money on out there. I guess Young? Mark Reynolds? Ick…McCann may be had for a reasonable price and I would maybe give Granderson a QO, but outside of that the pickings aren’t terrific for any of the positions.

    • matt b

      Unless – and I can’t say it’d shock me to death – the plan is to give Adams time, combined with a close-to-scrap heap guy (the market for 3B is non-existent, when Michael Young is the cream of the crop, and Betemit is top tier, you know there’s issues) same as true of the SS market, some players available at 2B possibly some of whom could be tried at third). To me, biogenesis superstar Johhny Peralta (who’s played 3B with some success, as well as – more of a stretch – Kelly Johnson – are the two guys who will hit free agency that could conceivably help.

      That said, there’s enough out there that should be available on the trade market that the Yankees needn’t necessarily get pillaged.

      -not a superstar, but my favorite choice would probably be trying to acquire David Freese – 3B is Carpenter’s natural position, and St. Louis will be loaded with 2B coming up. Good, solid player, 31, but still in his arb years, so not crazy expensive and no ultra long term worry. No sense of what the Cards would ask for and whether there’d be a match.

      =even though I believe he’s overrated and a poor defensive player, acquiring Astrudal Cabrera still makes sense on a bunch of levels. Down offensive year, but he’s generally an above league average bat (not by much, but still) – he’s on the right side of 30, he’s a switch hitter, only one year left on his deal, it’s always been a possibility he’d move to third, and Cleveland is going to need pitching and can likely hold down the fort as SS with Avila until their stud is ready to go. I like that Cabrera brings much needed switch hitting without much of a split, and that he can play SS as needed (albeit not all that well).

      -not a fan of making the club older and at6 mill for two years, it seems high, but Marco Scutaro’s a nice player to have around even if he doesn’t happen to be the starting 3B every night.

      =while on the Giants, and this is outside the box and not necessarily in a good way, I don’t believe Sandoval would be untouchable to any extent – nor should he be – but he’ll take a haul that he probably doesn’t warrant.

      =with the emergence of Chris Johnson (don’t think ATL would move him), I’m sure Juan Francisco would be available, though nothing to write home there.

      -little doubt that of the Yanks want Aramis, they can have him, and I’m actually a fan, but not of his price – if they’re stick austerity, they have too many holes to fill.

      -leaving the reservation here a bit, but I do wonder if Howie Kendrick has any capability of playing the position and to what extent he might be available.

      For me, Freese or Cabrera both do the job. They don’t need a world-beating 3B, but they need an offensive contribution from the spot (bear in mind I say that, but I also have this very dangerous, unjustified assumption that the Yanks will go very hard after McCann – and they should, in my view, yeah it’ll be five years, but they won’t need him to the regular C for all five of those, the DH glut will have cleared by the end of that deal).

      In fact, that’s sort of my best case offseason: first, do everything you can to bring back Hiroki, second, sign McCann and make a deal for an adequate – not out of this world – third baseman – and third, assess how much money’s left over, and use it for an outfield bat, starter (or if they get really creative and lucky, both). There’s no room for both Wells and Soriano on the club. If he’d come for two years, I’d still overpay for Beltran, that’s the kind of difference making offensive player the team needs. Unlike many on here, I’d sign up for Matt Garza in a heartbeat, but certainly understand that he’s not an ace, that his velocity is off a tick, and that he’ll want too many years and bucks- and I’m a realist, I know I’m not getting Freese, McCann, Beltran and Garza, as much as I wish life was a video game.

      • D$1184

        Well, you spent the available budget and even if they can somehow convince Kuroda to come back to this ship that has R.M.S Titanic written on the side of it, that still leaves you with a rotation of:

        Kuroda
        Sabathia
        Nova
        Phelps
        Pineda

        Looks like the rotation of a fourth place team to me.

        • D$1184

          Edit, sorry didn’t see Garza in there at first. Okay, maybe that’s good enough for third place.

    • ChrisS

      And therein lies the problem.

      The Yankees have money to spend, but there aren’t any good options to spend it on (at least not the kind that can provide the WAR/$ value to cover for declining high cost FAs).

      • Robinson Tilapia

        There’s zero in the market this off-season for third base. That’s going to take some creativity.

  • Colin

    Say A-Rod gets his suspension reduced to 150 games, or something where he doesn’t miss the whole season, but just a portion. How much of his salary counts against the tax then?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      I think whatever ARod loses in salary while suspended gets deducted from the AAV. 150 games suspended next year would subtract about $23M from his $27.5M AAV.

  • Coolerking101

    I really hope the 189 thing is BS. 189 basically assures that this team will not be a contender in 2014. Just seems ridiculous that while the rest of the league is spending like crazy, the Yanks will have their lowest payroll since 07.

    IMO, if the richest sports team in the world wants to spend money like its 2007, they need to charge 2007 prices.

    • Poconos Adam

      Amen brother!

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      I think 2003 was the last year the Yankees had a luxury tax payroll under $200M, fwiw.

    • Nat King Kong

      Double amen, brother!

      Yankee fans should not accept the Steinbrenners putting an inferior product on the field so they can go buy a couple of golden shoehorns or whatever it is they’re spending the profits on rather than putting it back into the team.

    • Nat King Kong

      IMO, if the richest sports team in the world wants to spend money like its 2007, they need to charge 2007 prices.

      ———————————–

      And let’s see them roll those executive salaries back to 2007 levels as well.

  • Robert

    Jeter goes to 3b next year.The team will be lucky to finish above .500 and if Cervelli and Stewart are the catchers we will finish 10 games under .500

    This year is done play Romine the rest of the way,see if he can hit over .250 the last 50 games.

    He is the best defensive catcher in the organization.

    • ChrisS

      It could be even worse. Phelps is injured and could very possible be facing surgery. Pineda is coming off of surgery and who knows what can be expected of him next season. Nova could be the best starting pitcher on the Yankees next season. Sabathia could maybe bounce back to a #2/3 level pitcher. Nova, Sabathia, Adam Warren, the ghost of Pineda, and a bunch of slop.

      Time to raise ticket prices!

  • JGYank

    In that case looking forward to 2015. And 2018 looks like a good opportunity to win as long as we don’t do anything stupid. All of our current contracts will be off the books by then and all of our older players will be retired or off the team except maybe Cano. By then we have the chance to develop some nice prospects and give them big league experience to get their feet wet as well as build around them with smart FA signings and trades.

    • ChrisS

      Then why sign Cano? in 2018, he’d be 35 and the Yankees have to gamble $200 million that he ages like Jeff Kent and not like Ryne Sandberg.

      Pass.

      • JGYank

        You have a point. But we need some reason to watch the team in 2014 and not have to puke when we see our offense. Besides in 2018 if we can develop enough guys payroll shouldn’t be much of an issue. I know, I know, I’m dreaming.

  • Greg

    Great analysis. The problem of course is (i) the team you postulate sucks, (ii) we’re without our best two pitchers (Mo and Kuroda), and (iii) there is very little available by way of FA’s who will change that equation. The plan was always to have a wave of young guys start making a difference (the killer B’s, the OF’s, etc). But none of them have proven out. And that’s the real problem.

    • Coolerking101

      “The plan was always to have a wave of young guys start making a difference (the killer B’s, the OF’s, etc).”

      If that was true, I’d feel a little better about things. But as far as I can tell, the 189 thing wasn’t part of some 5 year plan. It was literally thought up in the last year or so as a way for the Steinbrenners to line their pockets further. As far back as the start of 2012, there was no reason to believe any prospect other than ManBan (pre TJS) would be ready to make the leap to the bigs in 2014.

  • mt

    One downside to Arod’s case not being settled until possibly December is Yanks not knowing how much of his $33.5 maximum they have to play with until possiibly 2 months after free agency begins. In addition i can really see an arbitrator reducing suspension to 65-100 days. Anything less than 110 days or so unfortunately puts the 660 home run kicker portion (6 million) back into play.

    • CS Yankee

      Too bad they just couldn’t of traded Hughes to the Blue Jays and mandate that he pitches to Arod for four starts then the 6M$ bonus would occur this year.

  • emac2

    Boy, Yankee fans cry like babies at any excuse.

    The team next year looks OK to me. I would like to see them sign a power bat for the OF and a number one or two starter if Kuroda doesn’t come back.

    Jeter, Cano and Tex in the infield can carry a Nunez or an Adams.

    I would have JR in the mix at Catcher and wait for Sanchez instead of signing a catcher unless we can get McCann.

    • John C

      McCann is gonna want a 5 year deal. Too long. I’d take a shot at Pierzynski on a 1 year deal if Texas doesn’t want him back with Murphy as backup

  • Kered Retej

    He’s led a charmed life, for sure, and I’m as big a fan of him as anyone, but if Jeter, in his 40 year-old season and coming off an injury plagued 2013, manages to win the AL MVP, I’ll eat Ben’s hat for him…

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now.

    2014 (and likely 2015) is a transitional year and there’s not a heck of a lot they can do about it with a weak FA market, budget restrictions and little to no reinforcements coming up from the farm.

  • uyf1950

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. But the way I understood Jeter’s incentives was that he had to earn them in 2011, 2012 and or 2013 NOT 2014. If they were not earned by the end of the 2013 those incentives did not carry over to be eligible to be earned during the “player option year 2014″.

    If anyone thinks differently please provide a link to a site confirming that I’ve misunderstood the incentive clause of Jeter’s contract.

    If I am correct Jeter’s 2014 player option is fixed at $9.5MM after this season.

  • LarryM Fl

    Mike, I appreciate your efforts with the article. Unfortunately, I do not know if Cashman and Hal (F/O) can make the proper moves and or decisions on player personnel. They may have set up the possibility of reaching their goal of 189 but it appears that the players on the team will provide as much fun as we are having this year. If it achieves a cleansing of older players and makes room for the young guys. I would be pleased with this development.

    When I see the Ichiro signing. It makes me wonder about the decision making process. Not that Ichiro is useless but 6.5 million could be spend nicely toward another player.

    Honestly I can not blame Hal S. for his 189 Plan. You can win spending 189. Its done most years when the Yankees or Red Sox do not win the WS. I’m sure LAD would be over the 189 this year if the win the WS.

  • gbyanks

    McCain for catcher, Beltran for DH and jesse crain and JP howell for Set up and bellpen. See if you get get headley if not convert murphy to third and then call it an off season for 48 million.

  • CG

    Lol mike… did you ever think that you’d be penciling in David Phelps as the #3 starter for the Yankees?

  • D23

    Awesome post! Lot to think about.

    Dellin and Montgomery should fill out the back end.

    Any players they acquire, hope will be backloaded so perhaps we can give Cano his $25 a year but the first yr will have to be less than $20M to create some free salary space.

    Cash and Hal going to have to be creative and saavy.

    Would be wised to renegotiate Jeter’s contract and resign him to extension to create more space in 14?

    • gargoyle

      Cano $25 mil, stop the madness!!!

  • Billy

    Pathetically enough, there’s not a single free agent I’m gushing over next year. Whether the Yanks save A-Rod’s salary or not, I don’t see any big name acquisitions short of Kuroda or another 10-15 mil pitcher (possibly Garza, Lincecum?)

    They will need to makeover their office with patchwork players unless they trade prospects for young, established stars. However it doesn’t exactly seem like their current batch of prospects will garner a worthwhile acquisition (Stanton, Headley, etc.).

    Unfortunately it seems next year will be more of the same of patchwork veterans hoping to find lightning in a bottle.

    Does anyone else see any free agents worth doling out big bucks for?

  • Brandon

    2014 Yankees Roster-
    1) CF-Brett Gardner- 4.45 mill-(30-31)
    2) SS- Derek Jeter- 15.5 mill-(39-40)
    3) 2B-Robinson Cano- 27 mill-(31)
    4) 1B-Mark Texeira- 22.5 mill-(34)
    5) LF- Curtis Granderson- 11 mill (33)
    6) DH- Alfonso Soriano- 5 mill (38)
    7) 3B- Michael Young- 10 mill (37)
    8) RF-Ichiro Suzuki- 6.5 mill (40)
    9) C- Carlos Ruiz- 5 mill (35)

    Rotation-
    1) CC Sabathia- 23.875 mill-(33-34)
    2) Hiroki Kuroda- 17 mill (39)
    3) Ivan Nova- 3.25 mill (27)
    4) Michael Pineda- 1 mill-(25)
    5) David Phelps- 600 K-(27)

    Bullpen-
    CL- Joel Hanrahan- 6.5 mill- (32)
    SU- David Robertson- 4.25 mill-(29)
    SU- Shawn Kelly- 1 mill (30)
    MR- Preston Claiborne- 600 K (26)
    MR- Dellin Betances- 500 K (26)
    LHP- Vidal Nuno- 550 K (27)
    LR- Adam Warren- 600 K (26-27)

    Bench-
    C- Chris Stewart- 1 mill-(32)
    INF- Jayson Nix- 1.5 mill (31)
    INF- Eduardo Nunez- 650 K-(26-27)
    OF- Vernon Wells- 1 mill (35)

    2014 25-man Payroll- 171.325 (31.51 years old as the average age)
    2014 Total Payroll- 188 million

    • LarryM Fl

      The team constructed is bordering on way too old. The FA class is holding many ace Free agents so 2014 may be a repeat of 2014. Cano’s salary is an overpay. IMHO, I would let him walk. If he played with the heart and soul as Pedroia does. He still is not worth it. The Yankees need to develop and acquire young players who can be extended to about 32/34 then shred from the team.

      Nice effort!

      • LarryM Fl

        The average age of the starting unit is 35+.

  • Kosmo

    Looking ahead to 2014:

    Gardner CF
    Jeter SS
    Sign McCann C to a 4 yr 52 million deal
    Tex 1B
    Soriano LF
    Sign Morales DH/1B
    Almonte RF
    Jagielo 3B or pick up Aramis off the waiver wire.
    Adams 2B

    Bench :
    Ichiro OF
    Romine C
    Mustelier COF/3B
    Nunez SS

    SP:
    Sabathia
    Nova
    Sign Garza
    resign Kuroda
    Warren or Nuno

    BP:
    Robertson
    Kelley
    Claiborne
    Logan
    Betances
    Montgomery
    sign FA Scott Downs or Jessie Crain

    NY lets Cano walk.

    • Mac

      Jagielo is hardly lighting short season ball on fire. Will be the shock of a lifetime if he’s producing in MLB next season.

  • http://www.retire21.org first name only male – Retire 21

    I would suggest resigning Cano and Kuroda. If A-Rod is off the books for 2014, then sign Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann.

    • Kosmo

      if NY considers signing Ellsbury then they should consider trading Gardner for a SP ?

      • JGYank

        Then why not just sign a SP instead of Ellsbury and not give up prospects. I’m fine with Gardner.

        • Mac

          Don’t necessarily need to include any prospects to trade Gardner. Not sure anyone referred to trading prospects in any way.

      • Mac

        Not sure if they would really need a SP if they re-sign Kuroda. They would still need OFs, though. Obviously it depends on the deal, but I would say the need for an OF is greater than a SP all else equal.

  • Grover

    Thanks for this Mike. I love these payroll breakdowns and the what ifs they generate though I have yet to give up on a late season run and continue to believe a blockbuster trade is in the offing before they throw in the towel.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    No love for J.R. Murphy.

    Kid’s doing pretty well at AAA.

    • gbyanks88

      i was saying convert murphy to third if we dont trade for headly and sign mcCain. Beltran would be our best DH in 3 years with ability to play the field. signing McCain seems like a must hes one of the few middle of the order bats in the FA class and i never understoof why we dont sign beltran. i get that hes old but one year deal is no problem.

  • dick m

    Why stewvelli when we have Romine and Murphy? That’s how we got into this mess.

  • Conor

    Even if Rodriguez is suspended won’t the team have a small luxury tax hit because his 2014 salary is less than his average salary?

  • Rod

    I’m not entirely sure $189 is even a real factor at the moment. If the Yankees were inclined to spend $250M I don’t think they could field a great team next year. The FA class is too weak and the farm system had too much of a down year to have many trade chips. Better off sucking it up until there is a clear path to another long run.

    • Mac

      Disagree. There are some pieces who could theoretically fit their needs quite nicely on the FA market. Several OFs, a top C in McCann, some potential DH bats, and a few SPs (including Kuroda who is not included in this analysis).