Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Flush With Cash

Going into this season, the Yankees had the highest payroll they ever had, marked at about $228 million.  This didn't really translate onto the field, but none the less was the most they ever put into a roster.  The Yankees projected goal is to get the payroll under $189 million for next season, which is a difference of $39 million from last season.  Currently, the Yankees have a number of contracts coming off the books, including the money we were paying the Pirates for AJ Burnett:

AJ Burnett - $8.5 million
Jeter - $9 million (This is assuming he takes the Player Option on his contract valued at $8 million)
Cano - $15 million
Granderson - $15 million
Kuroda - $15 million
Pettitte - $12 million
Youkilis - $12 million
Rivera - $10 million
Hughes - $7.15 million
Logan - $3.15 million
Hafner - $2 million
Chamberlain - $1.875 million
Overbay - $1.25 million
Francisco - $1.1 million

Total - $113.03 million

Also, we have the pending decision of A-Rod's case, that could knock off up to $26 million from our payroll if he is suspended for the whole season.  We have 9 players due for pay raises through arbitration, but this won't impact the budget too much.  So with over $100 million coming off the books, the Yankees have to fill the following positions:

2 Starting Pitchers - (This assumes Nova and Sabathia are locks, and that the 5th starter role will go to the best of Michael Pineda, Phelps, Warren, Nuno, etc.)
1 Closer
1 Second Baseman
1 Third Baseman

Additionally, the Yankees would be wise to acquire a few additional pieces:

1 Outfielder
1 Lefty Reliever
1 Catcher

Replacing Granderson is not a necessity since we currently have Soriano, Gardner, and Ichiro with Vernon Wells as a backup, but with Gardner being injury prone, and Wells being a hitting void, it would be valuable to acquire another outfielder.  The experiment at catcher this year was lacking and the Yankees really need to consider bringing a catcher who can hit at a big league level.  We really only need a short term third base replacement, and a guy like Mark Reynolds may be a good and inexpensive option there.  Nonetheless, the Yankees have some major holes to fill, and will need to be smart as to how they allocate their money. 

So this is the current state of the Yankees: they are flush with cash, but still need to be smart about how they spread around this money.  There are a lot  of decisions to make this winter.


Anonymous said...

Is it true that it's going to take a few years before the Yankees have a strong enough team to make it to the playoffs?

Fernando Alejandro said...

Well, the Yankees have enough resources to make the playoffs next season, it's just that they may not have enough to be competitive in the playoffs.

If they're serious about their payroll goal, then 2015 should look pretty good. We have a weak free agent class this year, and the Yankees aren't spenders, which will make the 2014 Yankees an interesting spectacle. The Red Sox did a good job rebuilding their team by signing mid-level guys to reasonable contracts last season (Napoli, Dempster, Victorino), and the Yankees should follow that approach. Build a team around guys who grind out seasons, but may not be the top players at their position. It would also help if Nova could be consistent and Pinieda can give us some innings.