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The Evil Empire Is About To Crumble In The Bronx!

With almost $100 MIL tied  up in contracts for Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and  a potential Tommy John Surgery candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, this New York squad is in some deep trouble for next season.  Despite the recent playoff misses, and injury prone players brought in by Brian Cashman, the club saw fit to grant him a 3 year extension last month.  It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot next campaign..

With almost $100 MIL tied up in contracts for Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and a potential Tommy John Surgery candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, this New York squad is in some deep trouble for next season. Despite the recent playoff misses, and injury prone players brought in by Brian Cashman, the club saw fit to grant him a 3 year extension last month. It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot next campaign.

The Evil Empire Is About To Crumble In The Bronx!

Jordan Gluck (Featured Writer): 

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The Yankees have long used the prolong success of the “core four” to drive them to go far in the playoffs. They then surrounded them by free agents and other homegrown players.

Today the Yankees are in some trouble and if they aren’t smart this offseason they will remain hampered by large contracts for a long time instead of a quick retool to be VERY competitive in two years.

Let me show you what I’m talking about

Here is their Starting lineup and their ages:

LF Brett Gardner 31
3B/2B Martin Prado 31   
CF Jacoby Ellsbury 31
C Brian McCann 30
RF Carlos Beltran 37
1B Mark Teixeira 34
DH Alex Rodriguez 39
2B Robert Refsnyder 23 (Or acquisition at 3B, Prado plays 2B)
SS Brendan Ryan 32

Not exactly Spring chickens over there. The only player under 30 is one that will almost absolutely be replaced by someone who is most likely over 30. This at this moment isn’t exactly a star studded lineup, but the way that their being paid might make it seem that way.

With not being able to count on Sabathia for health (or current arsenal)

With not being able to count on Sabathia for health (or current arsenal), as a #1 SP, you will have to delve deep into the pockets of ownership to land Free Agent ace Max Scherzer.  But you must offer him a mega deal, (or Lester as Plan B) in order to anchor the 2015 Starting Staff.  Tanaka’s UCL tear also has to factor into this thought process here.

Bench Players 

Chris Young 31 (OF/DH)
Zelous Wheeler 27 (UT-INF)
Jose Pirela 25 UT/DH

As for the starting pitching and bullpen:

SP CC Sabathia 34
SP Masahiro Tanaka 26
SP Michael Pineda 25
SP Shane Greene 26
SP David Phelps 28

The Starting pitching is a real problem for the Yankees. A positive is that the only one over 30 is CC Sabathia who has been in real decline the past 2 seasons but Tanaka and Pineda have been injured and in Tanaka’s case his UCL can be a real problem.

Greene and Phelps are healthy but not necessarily talented with Phelps having an ERA of 4.38 which should be unacceptable for a competitive team.

2014 Earned Runs Averages 

CL Dellin Betances 26 – 1.40 ERA
SU Shawn Kelley 30 –  4.53 ERA
7th Adam Warren 27 –  2.97 ERA
RP David Huff 30 –  1.85 ERA
RP Esmil Rogers 29 –  4.68 ERA (Mostly came as a SP in TOR.0
RP Bryan Mitchell 23 – 2.45 ERA
LR Preston Claiborne 26 – 3.00 ERA

LR Justin Wilson 27 – 4.20 ERA (*But has a career mark of 2.99 even after last year’s bad campaign).  

This is how the bullpen looks right now although i can easily see them resigning Robertson. As of now this is a below average bullpen but with Robertson coming along this will be an average pen. I can see them signing a 7th inning guy as well.

The MONEY problem: They already have 189M committed to next years payroll (with projected arbitration numbers) and this is not a very good team. Lets remember that due to the long stretch of them running past the luxury tax ceiling they will be taxed on 50% of the overage.

In the future CBA talks, I expect MLB to target a cap Ceiling, have an International draft, the right to terminate a players contract if they are caught with PEDs, and an extension for service time in relation to Arbitration Eligibility.

Here are the numbers going forward on contracts for the Yankees, and they are Ugly with a capital U!

                    2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Mark Teixiera 23M 23M FA
CC Sabathia 23M 25M FA
Alex Rodriguez 22M 21M 21M FA
Masahiro Tanaka 22M 22M 22M 22M 22M 23M
Jacoby Ellsbury 21M 21M 21M 21M 21M 21M
Brian McCann 17M 17M 17M 17M Club
Carlos Beltran 15M 15M
Brett Gardner 12.5M13.5M 12.5M 11.5M
Martin Prado 11M 11M
Brendan Ryan 2M
Chris Young 2.5M

They have about 13M projected in Arbitration increases for next season – which makes for a total payroll of about 190M. That is about 47 M below their franchise record but there is a lot for them to do.

 Expect the early season figure to be in the 240 – 250M range if they want to be competitive next year.  

Holes:

2B: Refsnyder will get the chance to make the team out of spring training but to put him in the starting lineup out of the gate is a stretch.

SS: Brendan Ryan has always been excellent defensively but he can’t hit and that will cost them games. I do think he will be very useful as a late inning defensive replacement.

4th SP: Shane Greene would not be someone I think should be in the starting 5 but makes for a nice swingman.

5th SP: David Phelps looks more promising in a future relief role. Luis Severino should be ready this year.

Closer: Betances is good but David Robertson should return if the Yankees give him the right deal.  But with another club having to forfeit D-ROB,  I would have no opposition going after someone like Francisco Rodriguez or Casey Janssen.

Disclaimer – you could draft a pitcher out of college with the Robertson compensatory pick, that could be pitching in the Majors by years end, think of Brandon Finnegan.

7th Inning: I think this spot should be shored up by the likes of someone like Luke Gregerson

The Yankees are committed to try to be competitive this year and will spend to do it. I will list what they are probably going to do and what i would do. Remember they are hit with a 50% tax on all payroll over 189M. 

For a payroll of $240 $250 MIL, they would pay $25.5 – $30.5 MIL in penalties for 2015’s (AAV).

What they could do ($50 – $60 MIL worth) 

Sign Max Scherzer to something like 7 YR/180-190 M (AAV of around $26-27 MIL for the term).

Re-Sign Chase Headley 1 yr 9 – 11 M

Re-Sign David Robertson 4 yr 48M – 52 MIL

Potentially acquire Jimmy Rollins ($11 MIL 2015 salary) for Luis Torrens.

Their Payroll would be about 240M and the team would look like this 

LF Brett Gardner 31
3B Chase Headley 30
CF Jacoby Ellsbury 31
C Brian McCann 30
RF Carlos Beltran 37
1B Mark Texiera 34
DH Alex Rodriguez 39
2B Martin Prado 31
SS Jimmy Rollins 35

Chris Young 31
Zelous Wheeler 27
Brendan Ryan 32

SP CC Sabathia 34
SP Max Scherzer 30
SP Masahiro Tanaka 26
SP Michael Pineda 25
SP Shane Greene 26 (Will be Luis Severino come June)

SP Depth includes Chase Whitley, Esmil Rogers and Adam Warren – as guys who could swing into starter roles.)

CL David Robertson 29 (Cashman has said it is the clubs #1 target, so expect it to happen)
SU Dellin Betances 26
7th Shawn Kelley 30
RP Adam Warren 27
RP David Huff 30
RP Esmil Rogers 29
RP Bryan Mitchell 23
LR David Phelps 28

LR Justin Wilson 27 (Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Yankees for Francisco Cervelli.)

I would say that this is a team that would be about .500 and then go into 2016 with good prospects that are blocked like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. This is not a championship roster and not the way to build one either and Cashman knows that but is pressured by a need to stay competitive.

Here is what I would do:

Sign Yasmany Tomas. He should cost around a 8yr 100M contract but he is only 24 and has incredible potential. His youth would allow the Yankees to build around him.

Trade Brett Gardner. There is no room for him with the Tomas addition and he is their only outfielder with any value. He is very good defensively and suited best for CF but Ellsbury is already entrenched in that spot. He is due 50M over the next 4 years which will be his age 31-35 seasons.

He would be the best CF option as Colby Rasmus is the #1 CF FA this winter, and that is scary.  

Teams that need a CF include the Braves, Mets, Cardinals, Cubs, Padres, and possibly the Rangers. I think that a B or B+ prospect could be fair or two B- prospects. The Yanks can chip in cash to obtain better prospects.

Trade Gardner for Rob Kaminsky and Carson Kelly.

Sign Yoan Moncada. The reports out there on him say that if he was in the draft he could go number one overall. He is only 20 years old and whenever you can buy talent this good at this age then you do it. 45M signing bonus with 45M in international signing bonus tax.

He couldl be the successor to Beltran in RF. (Posting fee Doesn’t count towards payroll).

If you don’t opt for a #1 Ace SP, you could land 3 pitchers for same money

Re-Sign Hiroki Kuroda. 1 yr 12M There really isn’t many bad one year deals and he is a good veteran starter who can eat innings (provided he wants to play, he has hinted at retirement, or heading back overseas).

Sign Brett Anderson 1 yr 7M. He has been excellent in his career when he has been healthy but unfortunately that has not been often. He is only 27 and if he rebounds could be a big target for may teams next year including the Yankees. With a good year and QO this could net them a 1st round pick.

Sign Luke Gregerson. 4 yr 22M .He is 31 and has always been a productive and quality 7th inning or set up man.

Sign Asdrubal Cabrera. 1 yr 10 – 11 MIL.   He is only 29 years old but did not have a very good season to his standards with the Indians and Nationals so he may want to rebuild his value and then test the open market again. He can play SS and 2B and can do both with the Yankees.

Attempt to trade CC, Teixiera and Beltran midseason. If any of them rebuild any value try to ship them off and save on payroll for a big 2016 offseason, even if some money has to be eaten.

The team this year will not be very good. I expect Tanaka to undergo TJ surgery to fix his partially torn UCL that they tried to fix rehabbing it. I expect Eric Jagielo to try and tackle that 3B job this year.

The Organization should look to RETOOL for the 2017 season where it can feature a combination of high upside young talent like Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Ian Clarkin (and hopefully Yoan Moncada).

With the contracts of CC, Texiera, Beltran, and Prado expiring the Yankees will have lots of Flexibility to work with and a very bright future.

The Yankees 2017 future: (They will buy out that last year of Arod)

C Gary Sanchez
1B Aaron Judge
2B Robert Refsnyder/ Free Agent
SS Troy Tulowitzki/Jorge Mateo/ Free Agent (TULO would have to be traded for – as he is under contract until 2021.)
3B Eric Jagielo
LF Yoan Moncado/or other FA
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Yasmani Tomas (Or other FA)
DH Brian McCann

#1 SP like Scherzer/Zimmermann, Maybe David Price or comparable
Sp2 Masahiro Tanaka
Sp3 Luis Severino
Sp4 Michael Pineda
Sp5 Ian Clarkin

Closer: Dellin Betances
Set Up: Jacob Lindgren

To me that will be the start of what could be a Yankees dynasty built to last. They will have money to spend and superstars entering or in their primes.

Today the only real Star players they have in their prime 26-32 are Tanaka, Ellsbury, and McCann. While here they could have anywhere from 4-8 of them.

The Yankees and Cashman will decide what they do but my advice is remember how the Great Yankee teams have been built and why they have the most championships in sports.

Have a vision to the future and never try to “appease” the fans. If this organization makes the right decisions – a great future will be upon them but if they mess it up by saddling themselves with heavy contracts of older players they will end up in 300 yards worth of filth.

And if you are at .500 at the Trade Deadline, deal your best assets away before you deal with a Philly situation!

If you are the Yanks, why not roll the dice on Rollins to have a decent 2015.  At least you could deal him halfway through the year at the Deadline  With an idea to sign Chase Headley, have Prado at 2B, with the combo unit of A-Rod/Tex at 1B, at McCann Catching, it may be a veteran laden Infield, but it least it would triumph over what Joe Girardi was putting out in 2014.  Rollins makes $11 MIL for the upcoming season, and is 35.

If you are the Yanks, why not roll the dice on Rollins to have a decent 2015? At least you could deal him halfway through the year at the Deadline With an idea to sign Chase Headley, have Prado at 2B, with the combo unit of A-Rod/Tex at 1B, at McCann Catching, it may be a veteran laden Infield, but it least it would triumph over what Joe Girardi was putting out in 2014. Rollins makes $11 MIL for the upcoming season, and will turn 36 next week.

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

A Big thanks goes out to our featured writer Jordan Gluck for preparing today’s feature post. 

Note from Editor:  Also congrats to Jordan Gluck for picking KC as the AL Pennant winner in the 2014 season, successfully running the MLB Reports prognosticators for picking at least World Series participant every year since 2011 for preseason selections.

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

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About jgluck777

Aspiring President of Baseball Operations for a MLB Franchise/ Venture Capitalist

Posted on November 16, 2014, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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