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If ‘Cash’ Was Handled Right – The Yankees Could Get 2015 Payroll Under The Luxury Tax This Year

A few years ago, the Yankees were trying to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold just a few years ago, before they dished out $175 MIL over 7 years to Masahiro Tanaka.  Despite that, the club could have opted to get under last July by trading Kuroda, Suzuki and Gardner near the Deadline, instead of going for an ill-advised run at the playoffs.  At an estimated $211 MIL team salary so far, there are options to drop the mark under the limit yet again if the club struggles.  Should they not take advantage this time, they are completely dumb beyond recognition.

A few years ago, the Yankees were trying to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold just a few years ago, before they dished out $175 MIL over 7 years to Masahiro Tanaka. Despite that, the club could have opted to get under last July by trading Kuroda, Suzuki and Gardner near the Deadline, instead of going for an ill-advised run at the playoffs. At an estimated $211 MIL team salary so far, there are options to drop the mark under the limit yet again if the club struggles. Should they not take advantage this time, they are completely dumb beyond recognition.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Losing out on Yoan Moncada Sweepstakes

The Yankees fans let out a collective groan. but the cost of Yoan Moncada would be even more money than his $31.5 MIL signing bonus – and additional $31.5 MIL penalty.  How about tacking on another $15.75 MIL for part of their $50% Luxury Tax Penalty?

I agree with the Yankees not wanting to shell out nearly $80 MIL for an unproven teenager.  There are a numerous of examples of can’t miss prospects that won’t pan out.

The Yankees are estimated to have a payroll of near $221 MIL.  But the actual AAV is a little higher with the length of term bringing up the overall mark.  Alex Rodriguez makes $21 MIL in 2015, but he 10 year pact, was for an AAV of $27.5 MIL overall, so that is the number that brings up the clip.

If the Yankees are on pace to have spent $215 MIL in 2015, so  by July, that means they would have put out about $105 MIL at the ALL-Star Break.  This gives about $84 MIL worth of room, but you must take off around $27 MIL to fall under the limit.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the Yankees players please visit here.

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 this 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 this winter. It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot this campaign. Unless they are in the driver’s seat for the postseason in 2015, they should trade every player they can in July

This team better hope that Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner remain healthy and productive, and if the Pinstripers fall out of contention, (I fully expect them too).  then you could trade both OF (Gardner and Beltran might save you $15 MIL for the rest of the campaign.  Stephen Drew and Chris Capuano could be added to the mix to free up another $4 – 5 MIL.  So you still need to clear about another $6 – $7 MIL.

This is why the signing of Chase Headley was not a wise one in my calculations.  But even with that said, there are some more moves to be made.  Garrett Jones would definitely help a team, and also lighten your load by a few $MIL  You could potentially part with Chris Young if for next to nothing in return (if he hasn’t been cut already).

Other guys that could be used to trim it down low enough are Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova (provided he is back from TJ surgery by then).  There may just be enough cash knocked off to lose that 50% penalty in time for the 2015 winter off season.

New York should definitely do this if they are not in playoff contention.  They missed a glorious chance to this very concept last year, when all they would have had to do is flip Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki and David Robertson at the ALL-Star Break, when they were 1 game over .500.  Yes they finished just 3 games behind the playoff bar, but who is exactly bookkeeping at 161st and River Ave?

A 50% penalty has cost the club over $54 MIL in taxes the last 2 years.  Only the Dodgers are the other club currently being penalized by this mark.

This year is the optimum time to do it before the CBA is up.  New York could get under that umbrella, and then whiskfully spend $300 MIL on team payroll next year, and only pay a little over $10 MIL.  You can’t tell me that adding $110 MIL to the team’s 2016 budget wouldn’t include the likes of a Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, David Price, Jordan Zimmermann or Johnny Cueto.

Quite likely with the Dodgers in salary tax hell (with a $266 MIL Payroll this year and trending up) the Yankees could utterly dominate the 2015 winter.  I bet they could land 3 of those players aforementioned above.

If the Yankees aren’t going to do this then they better start answering questions why they didn’t spend more money in the offseason.  They should have landed another pitcher to cope with the underlying unrest with Masahiro Tanaka, and the worrisome health of CC Sabathia.

New York is predicted to barely scrape at .500 this season, and I fully think they will be under.  My thought process was that the offense will be better this year, however the pitching held together by duct tape and barbed wire, will be considerably worse.  The AL East have a bunch of banging offenses, and the Bronx Bombers are not possessing many guys that start with hit and miss stuff.

Besides with 2016 being the last year of the new CBA before a new contract is signed by the MLB and MLBPA, the time is running out on the squad to get underneath that mark.

If Rob Manfred has a mandate to induce stiffer penalties on the richer clubs for blasting by the tax, I am sure it will be enforced.  Teams are starting to creep up near the limit this year.  Boston has even said it wouldn’t mind passing the total (who cares if you pay 12.5% toll on a few MIL over the cap.  The revenue brought back the other way will pay for it.

If I were the Yankees owner, I would do this maneuver for sure.  Of course they cant come right out and say it.  But look at what th4e Red Sox have done in 2 of the last 3 years they have missed the playoffs and finished last in the AL East.

When the fans are at Yankee Stadium In August this season and the team is sub.500, without a farewell tour for Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, or entertaining the last year of the park, who is going to visit this facility when there are not meaningful games?

Take the hit for August and September, and then smoke everyone in the months of November to March.  By spending $300 MIL in 2015 + and $12.5 MIL penalty for just 12.5% over, and coupled with spending $189 MIL this season puts you a shad over $500 MIL for the 2 years anyway.  The same as if you spent $230 MIL on payroll (at $41 MIL over the limit right now like they have done the last 2 years).

Oh but know you can say goodbye to Alex Rodriguez (don’t let him hit 6 HRs and add to your payroll please), and Sabathia and Teixeira will be gone after 2017.  Welcome to your new Outfield of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, and to your pitching staff of Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Michael Pineda, and whomever.

The club will still have Didi Gregorius at SS, and maybe a guy like Neil Walker will come over and play 2nd.  Your new DH could be a guy like Michael Morse.

Brian McCann will still be your Catcher, Headley at 3B. and you have plenty of prospects coming really soon to the majors like Aaron Judge and Eric Jagielo to provide bench depth.  Luis Severino also bolsters your Pitching on the way, and when McCann is ready to move to 1B, Gary Sanchez can take over behind the dish.

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances will still be locking down the 8th and 9th inning and life would be grand.

There you go Mr. Cashman.. I have given you your template to resolve how to go on with your franchise going forward.  If I can do my best Kenny Powers impersonation now:  “Your Welcome!”

Jordan Zimmermann hits the open market after this year.  Picture a Yankees world where they could own the offseason with $110 MIL to spend in 2016 payroll.  Considering Ian Desmond, David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are also available, the Bronx Bombers could make their franchise set for the next 4 - 6 years with a Luxury Penalty reset, and to do it before the new CBA expires.

Jordan Zimmermann hits the open market after this year. Picture a Yankees world where they could own the offseason with $110 MIL to spend in 2016 payroll. Considering Ian Desmond, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are also available, the Bronx Bombers could make their franchise set for the next 4 – 6 years with a Luxury Penalty reset, and to do it before the new CBA expires.

*** 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 chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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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Posted on March 1, 2015, in MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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