New York Yankees Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years. Alex Rodriguez is still on the book for this years salary of $21 MIL. What is worse is that his Annual Average Salary of $27.5 MIL per year for the duration of his 2008 - 2017 contract still counts towards the $195 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold limit.

Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years.Alex Rodriguez is still on the book for this years salary of $21 MIL. What is worse is that his Annual Average Salary of $27.5 MIL per year for the duration of his 2008 – 2017 contract still counts towards the $195 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold limit this season.  Will the Yankees spend beyond that mark, or will they finally get under the limit and reset their penalties?

The Bronx Bombers have a projected payroll of $195 MIL already – and are perennial abusers of the Luxury Tax Threshold – so they are at a 50% penalty for any money spent between $195 – $215 MIL.

Don’t look for them to add much – unless they can orchestrate a trade of one of their salaried players already.

The brass is playing this smart.  The young players will make or break this current roster of players, however if the season gets away from New York, they will assuredly deal a few players away to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold once and for all.

By doing such that, they will reset the penalty to a 1st time user.

If Tanaka stays with Yankees beyond his opt out clause option following this season's end - he will earn $22 MIL per year from 2018 - 2020 still. $66 MIL doesn't seem like much to hold him back from doing just that - however the partially torn UCL in his throwing arm may cause enough concern for him to hit the open market. Should Tanaka choose to be a Free Agent it is a guarantee that New York will fork over the dough to sign the best Starting Pitcher on the Free Agent class.

If Tanaka stays with Yankees beyond his opt out clause option following this season’s end – he will earn $22 MIL per year from 2018 – 2020 still. $66 MIL doesn’t seem like much to hold him back from doing just that – however the partially torn UCL in his throwing arm may cause enough concern for him to hit the open market. Should Tanaka choose to be a Free Agent it is a guarantee that New York will fork over the dough to sign the best Starting Pitcher on the Free Agent class.

The key  players to the books are Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka, who are slated to make beyond $20 MIL for a few more seasons past 2017 here. 

Salary relief is coming.  Yet these guys may hurt the chances for future signings based on their deals

It was time for another new wave of Bronx Bombers, so if the players like Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Tyler Austin, Luis Severino and Greg Bird can provide some of the answers as the veterans leave than the club will be in good financial shape.

Take it to the bank the Yankees will be players in the Free Agent market as early as next year with a guy like Jake Arrieta.  Starting Pitching looks to be more of a hole in the long-term future.

the 2018 Winter Free Agent class of Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen should provide the Pinstripers their first chance to sign a great position player on the open market.

Tanaka did register almost 200 Innings for the 1st time in his 3 career with the Yanks (199.2 IP over 31 Game Starts) – but you are still only averaging 25 Game Starts per year from 2014 – 2016.

Essentially, the Yankees are stuck with a #1 guy that can only lug 80 – 85% of what he should be doing for the team based on his salary and pitch arsenal.

Despite all of the roster limitations in recent years, the Yankees have continued their winning season streak to 24 – after plunking down mid 80’s in wins the last three years.

Joe Girardi has done a fantastic job maneuvering veterans and young players alike.  With some of the bad contracts off the books, this is the 1st season the club could reel under the Luxury Tax Threshold.

In a best of case scenario, New York would be in contention near the Trade Deadline. and with a lot of expiring contracts in 2017, the club could take on some additional payroll at that time – given that the players brought in are not making much money beyond this campaign.

I have to think they could pick up a couple of players in the $20 MIL range for salary given that exact scenario, with the salary being prorated.

New York can spend up to $215 MIL with the 50% penalty enforced to cost them another $10 MIL in penalties.

From $215 – $235 MIL the club would be punished a 62% fine for those dollars, which would cost an additional $12.4 MIL. 

I could never see them approach that mark, as they would have to be leading the Division to encounter this.

A $235 MIL payroll would cost an additional $22.4 MIL to the team salary – to reacg $257.4 MIL.  The $215 MIL barrier pushes the payroll to $225 MIL.  New York has been near $240 MIL the last 3 years.

Again, if the season goes awry, look for players like Brett Gardner, Michael Pineda, Tyler Clippard, Matt Holliday Chase Headley (although probably would have to eat some salary) and yes even Didi Gregorius could be shipped off to clear some salary with Gleyber Torres coming down the pike soon.

CC Sabathia would have to be dealing like an ace to have any club even look at him – and even then the Yankees would likely still have to eat 70 or 80% of his remaining salary.

So the Yankee Stadium fans have some relief coming – and the organization made the right move to a quick youth movement that will look to add some Free Agent Veterans in future offseasons to surround the great young talent.

It may not be that long until the Yankees are back in World Series contention after all..

Guaranteed Contracts/POS/AGE:

CC Sabathia – SP (36):  Makes  $25 MIL for 2017 – and finally he will be gone after the year.  That is a lot of jack for a guy that may just be a 5th starter.

Masahiro Tanaka – SP (28):  Tanaka will make $22 MIL per year for each season from 2017 – 2019 and then makes $23 MIL in 2020.  There is a player opt out clause after 2017.

Assuming Tanaka is healthy, he may decide to go for that after this year.  With the Yankees being of the hook for any responsibility with a guy with a ticking time bomb arm this should not displease the management.

Jacoby Ellsbury – CF (33):  The quickly aging Outfielder makes $21.1 MIL for every year between 2017 – 2020.  There is a Team Option for 2021 at $21 MIL or a $5 MIL Buyout.

Alex Rodriguez – DH (42):  A-Rod makes $21 MIL for 2017 and will not play for the Yankees his summer after retiring in Aug of 2016.  .

Aroldis Chapman -CL (29):  The biggest signing ever for a Closing Ace will receive $17.2 MIL each of the years between 2017 – 2021.  It is money well spent if he can keep racking up the Saves for each campaign.

Brett Gardner – LF (33); He was drafted by the organization – and finally will have some fellow organizational draftees to join him in 2017 with Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Tyler Austin all being on the roster, makes Makes $12.5 MIL in 2017 and $11.5 MIL in 2018 – before there is a Team Option in 2019 for $12.5 MIL that comes along with a $2.5 MIL Buyout.

Chase Headley – 3B (33):  The Yankees have the switch hitting hot corner hitter has 2 years left on his deal from 2017 – 2018, where he collects $13 MIL each season.  That is not that great considering he has averaged pedestrian numbers only thus far in his Yankees tenure.

Starlin Castro – 2B (27):  The ex Cub makes $9.9 MIL in 2017, $10.9 MIL in 2018 and $11.9 MIL in 2018 before a Team Option arises in 2020 for $16 MIL or a $1 MIL Buyout.  This contract is fair to what kind of production Castro can provide.

Matt Holliday – DH (37) – This great veteran was inked to a pact that was worth $13 MIL for one year and then he is a Free Agent.

Tyler Clippard – RP (32) – Is due $6.1 MIL in 2017 and then is a Free Agent. An underrated move at the time, the Yankees can use the setup availability of Clippard to set up games in a late inning role for the Pinstripers in 2017.

Michael Pineda – SP (28) – In a trade that was still very lopsided with Jesus Montero going the other way for Pineda’s services, the big Righty is in the last year of his Team Control and will make $7.4 MIL.  He becomes a Free Agent heading into 2018.

Didi Gregorius – SS (27) – Just given a one year deal in his 1st year of Arbitration, Gregorius will take home $5.1 MIL in 2017, before entering two more campaigns of Arbitration before Free Agency looms in 2020.

Adam Warren – SP/RP (29) – The quintessential swingman was returned to New York in the Aroldis Chapman trade, makes $2.29 MIL in 2017, has one more year of Arbitration left before hitting the open market in 2019.

Tommy Layne – RP (32) – The Lefty Specialist earns $1.1 MIL in 2017 – has three years left of Arbitration before becoming a Free Agent in 2021.  If he throws well he can stay awhile.

Austin Romine – C (29) – 805K for the primary backup backstopper is not a bad price to pay.  Unfortunately the club also ate some money on the Brian McCann trade – so they did not get away scott – free from paying their Catchers anything of value.

Total Money for this Category for 2016: $171.5 MIL (13 Players)

Arbitration Eligible/POS/AGE

1st year

Dellin Betances – RP (29):  Is projected to earn $3.4 MIL in Arbitration, has 2 more eligible seasons in 2018 and 2018 – and is a Free Agent in 2020.  He will be criminally underpaid for the next 3 years for whatever he makes.  This guy is a staple in that Relief Core.

Aaron Hicks – OF (27):  Hicks is slated to make around $1.4 MIL in 2017, and has 2 years of Arbitration left before hitting Free Agency in 2020.  He will be hard pressed to win a starting job but has shown promise from his Minnesota days.

3rd Year

Ruben Tejada INF (27):  Tejada is in his 3rd year of Arbitration but honestly he may not even make it to the hearing table as the Yankees brought him in for depth

Tejada has a payment of $1.4 MIL to potentially play on the Majors.  Tejada can go anywhere after the next season again.

Total Money for this Category for 2017:  $6.2 MIL Total Money So Far: $ 177.7 MIL (16 Players)

Dead Money POS/AGE:

Brian McCann – C (33):  For trading the Catcher, the Yankees will eat $5.5 MIL worth of salary for each of the 2017 and 2018 seasons before they are free and clear of owing him any more dead money.

Total Money for this Category – $5.5 MIL. Total salary: $183.2 MIL

Greg Bird – 1B (24):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Luis Severino – SP ( 22): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Chasen Shreve – RP (26):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Bryan Mitchell SP (26): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019- 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Rob Refsnyder – 2B (26): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Branden Pinder – RP (27): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Tyler Austin, 1B/RF– (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020- 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Richard Bleier (29): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020- 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Aaron Judge OF/DH (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020- 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Luis Cessa RP (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Johnny Barbato RP (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020- 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Mason Williams – CF (25):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Gary Sanchez – C (24): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020- 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Total Money for this Category for 2017:  $6.8 MIL Total Money So Far: $ 190.70MIL (16 Players).

With A-Rod’s AAV $6 MIL higher. the total for New York and their Payroll AAV for the 2017 Cap Hit is probably slightly over the $195 MIL Luxury Tax limit, but could be offset easily by one trade of a veteran midway through the year.

Gary Sanchez is the most important player in this rebuild process. It is unfathomable to think he can carry the same electirc offense pace he carried forth in 2017 (29 HRs in just 53 Games), but it is not too far fetched for him to be the best hitting Catcher in the American League for the next handful of years. and led the Bronx Bombers back to the elite status in the playoffs.

Gary Sanchez is the most important player in this rebuild process. It is unfathomable to think he can carry the same electric offense pace he carried forth in 2017 (20 HRs in just 53 Games), but it is not too far-fetched for him to be the best hitting Catcher in the American League for the next handful of years. and lead the Bronx Bombers back to the elite status in the playoffs.  Sanchez has barely started his service clock and will be under Team Control until at least 2023.

*** 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***

I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015.  It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

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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 16, 2017, in MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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