Because of stiffer luxury tax penalties in the new collective bargaining agreement, the Yankees are trying to reduce payroll to $189 million by the 2014 season. To do that, the Yankees will be faced with a strict budget closer to the norm in regular baseball and that means hard choices.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden of ESPNxm that although the team has had no discussions over contract extensions with either player, they would like to keep both long term.
Don’t expect either player to come cheap either.
Cano was worth an estimated $26 and 25.2 million in 2010 and 2011 respectively, according to FanGraphs. While Granderson wasn’t estimated to be worth as much in 2010, $14.1 million, he was worth a whopping $31.6 million based on his performance in 2011.
These are two prime players, playing prime positions. On the open market there is no telling how much they could get. Cano will be 31 when he hits the Market. Granderson will be will be 32 going on 33 so something crazy like a 10 year deal will be out of the question, but both can and will at least start at six-year deals and get at least five, especially Cano.
Four other players that will be under contract that year at about $80.4 million combined. If, say for instance, it is possible that Cano and Granderson pull in $45 million annually combined, the Yankees would have just $63.6 million to spend on 19 additional roster players.
That’s where it gets really tough to sign players like Nick Swisher and Russell Martin, possibly even Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain when the time comes. Keep in mind, the Yankees will need a catcher, two other outfielders, four starters, and a bullpen to sign. That $189 million budget can only be stretched so many ways.
The Yankees may even have to revisit this idea of keeping both players. $45 million combined annually sounds like an extreme estimation, but it is possible. At 31 and 33 to start the season, both of these players might not be up to carrying the load for the entire lineup. With Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez still around at big bucks it might be too much for a potentially very old lineup.
So while it’s good to hear that the Yankees want to keep both players around right now, they have a policy not to give contract extensions before the player’s previous deal is up because they reserve the right to change their minds up until that final minute.