With all the talk of free agents and budgets this winter it’s a good idea to keep in mind where the Yankees stand right now. It’s been said they are going to try to keep their payroll from anywhere between $185-$200 million while they’ve also been connected to expensive free agents like Ben Sheets and even Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.
Do they have enough space to get it done? Let’s take a look (Numbers in parenthesis are estimated):
Relievers (estimated total of $24.44 million):
Mariano Rivera – $15 million
Damaso Marte – $4 million
Chad Gaudin – ($2 million)
Sergio Mitre – ($1.25 million)
David Robertson – ($900,000)
Alfredo Aceves – ($900,000)
Mark Melancon – ($390,000)
Infielders (estimated total of $82.8 million):
Alex Rodriguez – $32 million
Mark Teixeira – $20 million
Derek Jeter – $21 million
Robinson Cano – $9 million
Ramiro Pena – ($400,000)
Juan Miranda – ($400,000)
That’s my guess at what the 25-man roster would be if the season started tomorrow. If I’m correct about the estimated figures, which I’m sure I won’t be, but I’ll be close, that would be an opening day payroll of $191.13 million.
That means realistically speaking, unless they move some salary, they won’t be able to spend more than about $9 million this offseason. That immediately removes them from the market for all of the three free agents I mention above. It also means they can’t sign a left fielder, a DH, and another pitcher no matter who they are.
They could get creative, like they could deal Melky Cabrera and Chad Gaudin freeing up about $5 million more. Giving them about $14 million to spend. That could net them both Ben Sheets and Nick Johnson or maybe Matt Holliday if they were willing to go slightly over budget and could get him at say a team friendly deal around $16-$18 million per season. Of course they would have to piss off Jorge Posada and go into the season with both Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain in the rotation.
What do you think? How should the Yankees spend their remaining $9 million under budget? Or should they forget their budget altogether? Or how could they get creative to free up more money?
For reference sake, here are the Yankees payrolls from recent years: