It has been regularly stated that with $88 million coming off the books, the Yankees are in a good position to take in the large contracts it is handing out. In fact it is stated that despite the big money contracts they're throwing around they will still be opening next season with a smaller payroll. If you're wondering where the $88 million comes from, let me paint a picture with my money brush:
Jason Giambi: $21 million
Bobby Abreu: $16 million
Andy Pettitte: $16 million
Carl Pavano: $11 million
Mike Mussina: $10 million
Ivan Rodriguez: Approximately $4 million
Latroy Hawkins: $1 million
Wilson Betemit: $1.3 million
Morgan Ensberg: $1.75 million
Assorted Cash From Dropping the Following Players: Richie Sexson, Chad Moeller, Chris Britton, etc...
The $88 million sounds like a lot, but it doesn't take into consideration a number of variables. For example, the Yankees need to pay Giambi $5 million for not picking up his option, and they owe Carl Pavano $1.95 million for the same reason. Chien Ming Wang is likely to see a pay raise despite his injury in arbitration, and let's not forget the $5.3 million in payroll we added with Swisher and the $4 million we added with Marte. Nady and Bruney are two other players likely to see a bump in arbitration. So far they've committed a median salary of $16.5 million to Burnett and $23 million to Sabathia, and $4 million to Marte. Swisher will earn $5.3 million next season, but the Yankees traded away Betemit and his $1.3 million salary for him making a difference of $4 million. Those contracts put together equal $47.5 million. Then you have to add the $6.95 million in payouts the Yankees made to Giambi and Pavano and you're up to $54.45 million. Let's say Wang and Nady earn a $2 million raise through arbitration, and Bruney gets a $500,000 bump. Now we're around $59 million back on the books, which is still $29 million short of what we paid last season. If Pettitte signs for 1 year at $10 million, that will leave the Yankees $19 million shy of last season. Then you have the Mike Cameron contract that may come in valued at $10 million, but recent reports are tieing Kei Igawa to the deal, which would shed $4 million. If all this happens, and the Yankees stand $16 million shy of last years payroll, they then have to make a big decision. If this report from the New York Post is any indication, the Yankees will likely pursue Teixeira or Manny, and may also try to land Ben Sheets. That's at least $20 million for the offensive players, with Manny likely to go for $25 million but for fewer years. The Yankees had reportedly offered Sheets a $26 million deal over 2 years, or $13 million per year. Considering all the interest in Teixeira, I don't think he comes here, but the Yankees will succesfully bump his price up. Manny on the other hand could likely come to the Yankees for about $25 million, maybe less if they give him more years. With all this, the Yankees will be well over their 2008 payroll especially if they take Sheets, though that is less likely to happen.
Fiscal responsibility is overrated anyway. The Yankees have a reputation to keep, and records to break. Namely, the record of most money spent in a single off season.