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What The Yankees Signing Masahiro Tanaka Means For The Current Roster + The Luxury Tax Threshold

Once again, the Yankees have forked out the most money top acquire a Starting Pitcher.  Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a 7 YR/$155 MIL deal with the Bronx Bombers.  When you add the $20 MIL posting fee, it comes out to $175 MIL for just 7 Years.  The Japanese superstar has a player opt out after 4 years (after the 2017 season).  It is the biggest ever contract for an American League Pitcher - and the largest sum ever granted for a RIght Handed Pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.  The 25 Year Old also is now in possession of the 18th biggest contract in MLB history

Once again, the Yankees have forked out the most money top acquire a Starting Pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a 7 YR/$155 MIL deal with the Bronx Bombers. When you add the $20 MIL posting fee, it comes out to $175 MIL for just 7 Years. The Japanese superstar has a player opt out after 4 years (after the 2017 season). It is the biggest ever contract for an American League Pitcher – and the largest sum ever granted for a Right Handed Pitcher (Open Market – doesn’t count extenssions) in the history of Major League Baseball. The 25 Year Old also is now in possession of the 18th biggest contract in MLB history.  With the signing of the player, the Yankees have pushed their 2014 Luxury Tax AAV to roughly $196 MIL.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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The Yankees had to have Masahiro Tanaka for the team going forward.  It is a risk so worth taking.  There is not a litany of 25 Year Old Starting Pitchers that have the repertoire of this guy.

Due to poor drafting – and mismanagement of several other young phenoms like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, the club couldn’t produce a legitimate #2 or #3 starter out of their own system.

The team has also traded a guy like Ian Kennedy, who has thrived in another atmosphere.  But this is the Yankees way.

This was their only alternative.

Masahiro Tanaka Highlights

Mashahiro Tanaka was 24 - 0, with a 1.27 ERA in with his team in the NPBL last year.  He has followed countrymen Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda and of course the 1st man from Japan, Hideo Nomo as superstars to take their talents to North America.

Mashahiro Tanaka was 24 – 0, with a 1.27 ERA in with his team in the NPBL last year. He has followed countrymen Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda and of course the 1st man from Japan, Hideo Nomo as superstars to take their talents to North America.  Tanaka has pitched with the whole world watching him, as part of the 2013 WBC team for Japan.  He will be counted on at the top of the New York Yankees rotation for years to come.  Fans in New York can only pray this guy is much more like the guys aforementioned in this caption – rather than former Yankees Starting Pitcher Kei Igawa, who never panned out in his time with New York.

Back in 2008, the Pinstripers missed the playoffs for the 1st time in the post Strike/Lockout ERA.

The team responded by landing CC Sabathia (7 YRs/$161 MIL) Mark Teixeira (8 YRs/$184 MIL) and A.J. Burnett (5 YRs/$82 MIL).

The club came back swinging in the American League with a vengeance, winning the 27th World Series for the franchise in 2009).

This time around, with missing the playoffs in 2013, the organization already doled out over a half billion towards fielding another contending team in 2014.

So far in the offseason, the club has landed Masahiro Tanaka (7 YRs/$155 MIL) (+ a $20 MIL posting fee), Jacoby Ellsbury (7 YRs/$153 MIL), Brian McCann (5 YRs/$85 MIL), Carlos Beltran (3 YRs/$45 MIL), Matt Thornton (2 YRs/$7 MIL), Brendan Ryan (2 YRs/$5 MIL), Kelly Johnson (1 YR/$3.0 MIL) and Brian Roberts (1 YR/$2 MIL + Incentives) in Free Agency.

That is $475 MIL already in Free Agency.

When you add them bringing back their own guys in Hiroki Kuroda ($16.5 MIL, 1 YR), Derek Jeter (12.0 MIL, 1 Year), then you are at $503 MIL.

The club is already at $196 MIL for team salary in 2014.  The team may not be done either, but don’t for them to venture too much forward with payroll – unless it is signing guys for just the 2014 campaign.

Even as it stands, the Bronx Bombers could get under the $189 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold if they trade 1 or 2 guys during the season.

Below is a look at 2015 salary.

I wrote an article explaining how 2014 would be their best to contend in the next three years based on all of their veterans only aging more as the years go on.

I would still think the club should go and sign a guy like Grant Balfour.

David Robertson is not solidified as the teams Closer this year, and the Aussie would love to sign a multi year deal with an AL East club – to stuff it to the Baltimore Orioles.

The management and ownership can still meet their quota of landing beneath the Luxury Tax quota in 2015 if they so choose.

The new CBA may also have new definitions for the Annual Average Value of player contracts.

At a 50% penalty, the Yankees would still love to hit the reset button back to 17.5%.

If they go under any time in the next 2 years, they could conceivably dole out $300 MIL on team salary the very next season, and only pay about $20 MIL in penalties.

This is how flawed the salary structure is in the MLB.

The Yankees – 2015 Payroll, Player Age, Running $ Total in MIL

1. 3B Alex Rodriguez  – 27.5  (39) 27.5

2. SP #1 CC Sabathia – 22.8 (33) 50.3

3. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0 (35) 73.3

4. SP #2 Masahiro Tanaka 22.1 (26) 95.4

5. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (31) 117.3

5.  C Brian McCann – 17.0  (30) 134.3

6. LF/DH  Carlos Beltran – 15.0  (37) 149.3

7. INF Brendan Ryan – 2.0 (2015 SS) (31) 151.3

8.  RP: Grant Balfour – 6.0 (37) 156.3

9 SP #3 Ivan Nova – $5 MIL in ARB 2015 (26) 161.3

10. 3B Eduardo Nunez – $2 MIL in ARB 2015 ) (28) 158.3

11.   RP Matt Thornton – $3.5 (38) 162.3

12.  RP Shawn Kelley – $3 MIL in ARB  (31) 165.3

13.  SP#4 – Michael Pineda – $2.0 MIL in 2015 ARB 167.3

14.  SP#5 David Phelps – $2.0 MIL in 2015 ARB 169.3

15 – 17:  Club needs a Starting RF/LF + 4th OF (maybe combination of Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Melky Mesa, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams) or could possibly use $6.5  MIL in salary for 2 spots on FA. 175.3

18 – 20: 3 relievers on entry level contracts – $2 MIL. 177.3

22  – New 2B – $2 MIL per year. 179.3

23 – 24Back Up Catcher (Francisco Cervelli or Austin Romineand Backup FA OF – $2 MIL  $181.3

25 – 6th Starter like Manny Banuelos or one another entry level contract. $181.8

26.  If Derek Jeter were to play another year, he could be signed – or the franchise could re-sign David Robertson in 2015 with the remaining cash left over.

Total 2015 Team Payroll could hover around $189 MIL

Brian Cashman might still have a mandate from the Yankees ownership to reset the luxury tax in the next few years.  All they have to do is climb under the mark once - in order to wipe out the penalties in going forward.  In 2013, the club was fined $25 MIL for going more $50 MIL over the threshold of $178 MIL.

Brian Cashman might still have a mandate from the Yankees ownership to reset the luxury tax in the next few years. All they have to do is climb under the mark once – in order to wipe out the penalties in going forward. In 2013, the club was fined $25 MIL for going more $50 MIL over the threshold of $178 MIL.  The Yankees are only slightly over the new mark of $189 in 2014, so if the team has a catastrophic campaign, they could still go underneath this total by trading some guys before the year ends.  However, this team just became more dangerous, because they may be willing to obliterate the $189 MIL – by taking on many players that have their salaries expire after the 2014 year.  The Yanks will pay a 50% penalty for all money spent over $189 MIL.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

 *** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

***Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:  

To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on January 22, 2014, in Free Agency, MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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