Thursday, December 17, 2009


Now that the Yankees are working with a budget, I have to wonder whether or not this really makes sense. I'm not advocating the Yankees attempt to build a team purely based on signing expensive free agents, we've seen where that leads. However, if the right piece is out there, I'd hate to pass on it because we've already hit $185M or $195M on payroll. For any other team, I understand the need for a budget. But you are the biggest team in probably the biggest baseball market in the country, you have a license to print money, what's with the stinginess all of a sudden? I'm not writing this b/c I feel the Yanks should have gone after any particular player, I'm just wondering whether it makes sense to keep the budget under $200M just for the sake of keeping it under $200M. I'd like to know the reason why suddenly a team with almost infinite financial resources needs a self-imposed budget cap. I'm fine with trying to maximize value, and I don't want to see more Giambies and Sheffields, but I would like to know that we're imposing a budget for a reason, and not just because Hal likes the smaller numbers. The great thing about George Steinbrenner is that he always invested in the team. The team itself regularly showed losses (more than made up for by other parts of the Yankees organization) b/c of the willingness to spend. It made the Yankees the most competitive team of the decade (we didn't always win, but no team matches us in play-off appearances). So, I just want to know why all of a sudden it's important that the Yanks payroll come in below some arbitrary figure.


SA Yankee fan said...

think it's all part of Cashman's latest ninja strategy.

Seriously though, I think if the right players where out there they would break the bank for them but the right players are not out there at the moment and by "operating with a budget" the Yanks can squeeze FA's looking to take the Yanks for a ride (like Damon)

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

I hope you're right SA. That certainly makes sense as a strategy, and I have read that other executives are skeptical of the leaked "budget." I suppose only time will tell. But sometimes I wonder, if Damon makes us as much better offensively as he does, should we really pass over $6M over two years? I'm not saying he's worth $13M per year, I'm just saying if we're willing to pay $10M, and there isn't a better 2 option, why lose him over $3M per year? That's change for the Yanks.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees are going to sign Matt Holliday on the one year anniversary of the Mark Teixeira signing. I am guessing for about 6 years, $102 MM. Bronny Cash putting on the NInja suit RIGHT NOW.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

I think I may need to call Bronny soon and get to the bottom of this budget situation.

Rich Mahogany said...

This is what I think Bronny will tell you:

1. The Yankees have always had a budget because the Steinbrenners are cold-blooded capitalists who are out to make a ton of moeny. That's how they transformed the Yankees into the media juggernaut they are today.

2. The Yankees are indeed the best team in the biggest market, which is why they can spend $200 million on payroll, which is $50 million more than the runner-up Mets (according to Cot's Baseball Contracts - I was pretty surprised to see the Mets and not the Red Sox as the no.2 payroll team). They have to draw the line somewhere or the team will not be profitable. (Also consider the hundreds of millions more the team spends on player development, scouting, staff, and so on.)

4. The Yankees are subject to the revenue tax, so every contract they hand out now actually costs millions more than the price on the paper.

5. The Yankees' main concern tends to be years, not dollars. They don't want Damon around for three years because he could become dead weight and prevent the Yankees from going after other options.

6. If the Yankees don't say they have a budget, free agents can walk all over them. They can demand anything because they think the Yankees have no limit on what they can pay.

7. The Yankees are going to crush everyone with the players they currently have. Adding another high-priced player would just make Theo go crying home to mommy, which is unnecessary.

Jon Roberts said...

I don't think there is a hard budget. Last year they were talking about bringing payroll down, which I think they did, but they broke the bank for the right players. C.C. is a special pitcher, Tex is a special first baseman. Bay and Holliday are good, maybe unusually good, but I don't think they're the type where you push it financially.

Even though its the Yankees there is no such thing as unlimited resources. I think that the budgeting talk is for real but not hard. Neither of those guys is worth the risk of hamstringing yourself for the next few years if they aren't able to play to the level of the contract. What if Mauer actually hits the market next year? He's a special player like Arod or Pujols. I foresee no budget issues in that situation.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

making Theo cry is always necessary. Remember the time Bronny reminded him he was an orphan? Making Theo cry is what Bronny does. In fact, he's probably doing it right now.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

the LoHud blog did mention that Hal said he would not shut the door if Cash needed more, well, cash.

Rich Mahogany said...

Bronny would also count correctly, unlike me.