If you've been paying attention to the Yankee post-season, and have been listening carefully, then you've probably noticed that nothings happening. We haven't signed anyone, not even the guys who want to play for us (Kuroda and Mariano I'm looking at you!), and we haven't pulled off a block buster trade. The Yankees have been linked to Mike Napoli, but probably because Russell Martin is getting considerable attention from other teams. So how will the Yankees proceed this winter? Pretty much the way they have been thus far: by doing nothing. Here's why...
The Yankees have aimed to be under $189 million in 2014, but this number includes every player on the 40-man roster, not to mention all the benefits, travel expenses, health insurance premiums etc, that Cashman said was about $10-12 million, putting the effective payroll goal at $177 million. Payroll is decided on the average annual value of a players contract, so even though A-Rod is set to make $25 million in 2014, the average annual value of his contract is $27.5 million. The Yankees currently have 4 players signed into 2014:
CC Sabathia - $24.4 million
A-Rod - $27.5 million
Teixeira - 22.5 million
Jeter - $9.5 million (Player's Option)
Total - $83.9 million
In other words, nearly half of the projected payroll budget for 2014 is already allotted to 4 players. The Yankees also are interested in signing Cano to a long term deal after next season, and though no one knows how much he'll make, he's currently playing for $15 million. Signing Cano will give the Yankees 5 players that are making well over half of their projected payroll.
The Yankees currently have a whole host of openings that they're unwilling to spend big on. They can probably get around this by offering a lot of 1 year deals, but this really just pushes the problem off to next year. So in conclusion, Cashman either needs to pull off a Red Sox/Dodgers style salary dump trade of Granderson, A-Rod and Teixeira, or we'll be seeing a lot of names in our lineup that we're not familiar with.