2014 Free Agent Class: Who will the Yankees not go after next year? 23


Yankee coupon clipper
It’s a bit premature to look at the 2013-2014 offseason, especially because a lot can happen between now and then. With the recent trend of one year contracts, it’s also questionable whether the Yankees will continue to pursue aging veterans on short term deals in 2014.

Despite that, the Yankees will have plenty of money to spend after the 2013 season, and the free agent class as it stands today doesn’t look all that bad. It would be surprising if they didn’t target some top free agents, or at least their own top free agent when the time comes.

Without getting into the gory details of the calculations, by my estimation the Yankees will have about $100 million to spend on somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 players. That means they will have about $6.67 million per slot. Use a prospect at an important position, save $6 million. Re-sign Cano, then you better use some young players at important positions. You catch my drift.

This is most definitely an oversimplification, however the front office will have a considerable amount of money to spend on the 2014 roster and a reasonable amount of flexibility with how to use that money. This brings up the next question, who will be available to spend this money on? I’ll stick to positions the team has an obvious opening at, and the players who jumped off the page and piqued my interest when I looked at the list on MLBTR.

There’s not much in the way of catchers, and none at the age you would like to see. Brian McCann will be 30 and a free agent. The question is do you want to sign a 30 year old catcher to a long term deal? Outside of him there is Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He has done it in the AL East, but do you want to pay premium dollars to him for the high homerun, low average hitter you’re going to get? If that’s the case, Russell Martin should have been re-signed this off-season.

At second base, there’s nothing that is going to come close to Robinson Cano. In this case, it’s Robinson Cano or you’re probably best off looking at in house options. Chase Utley will be 35, and the only other decent names are Alexi Casilla, Brian Roberts, and Aaron Hill. I’ll pass.

Jeter will be our shortstop, and Tex will be our first baseman. At third base, the Yankees are going to either have to look in house or basically go down the same list they did this year after A-Rod went down with injury.

In the outfield there is Nate McLouth (32), Jacoby Ellsbury (30), the Grandy Man (33), Hunter Pence (31), Shin-Soo Choo (31), and a bunch of old heads. There could be a deal to be had somewhere in that group. If so, another hole will be plugged.

There are a few pitchers who, if still available, would be good choices to fill the holes that will be left behind when Pettitte, Kuroda, and Hughes leave after this season. Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Matt Garza, Gavin Floyd, Ricky Nolasco, Edinson Volquez, and Adam Wainwright are names that could end up being popular at the Winter Meetings next year.

As far as relievers go, I would hope the Yankees are smart enough not to spend too much given what they already have on their team and what they have on their farm.

How the Yankees choose to go about solving this puzzle is anyone’s guess. There is a huge amount of production to replace in 2014, and a limited amount of money to replace it with. One would have to imagine the game starts with signing a number two starter and giving it the old college try to get Cano back. After that, the chips can fall where they may as far as I’m concerned.

Someone between Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores, Zoilo Almonte, Melky Mesa, and Abe Almonte should be ready to contribute by 2014, so the outfield should be covered. Third base, catcher, and the rest of the starting rotation will have to be addressed one way or another. There’s not enough money to sign a star, or even a Kevin Youkilis type at every position, so Cashman will have to develop some sort of strategy and get creative between now at then.

Many are calling 2013, or 2014, the end of the Yankees dynasty (and hopefully the beginning of another). Personally, I am not ready to say that the Yankees are poised to fall out of playoff contention just yet. Some serious challenges and questions lie ahead, but I still think there is a reasonable chance that those questions will be answered before the sky falls and the Yankees Universe implodes.


23 thoughts on “2014 Free Agent Class: Who will the Yankees not go after next year?

  • Mike

    One player cannot win championships. It's about players with particular talents and skills becoming a productive unit. The Yanks seem to be sacrificing all to retain Cano, and though I like him as a player I'm not convinced he will ever be the leader that this team needs to WIN championships.

  • Keena

    Love the Hal "Coupon Clipper" picture. He makes me physically ill to look at. I pray he'll sell the team to someone who cares about winning.

  • Greg

    Arod, CC, Tex and Jeter is $83M. Assume Cano at $25M, Hughes at $15M, Ichiro at $6M. That's $130M on 7 guys. And then you have the arb and FA guys like Roberston, Joba, Gardner, etc. Which leaves no money for Kuroda, Andy, Mo or Grandy. Everyone else has to be cheap.

  • Rob Abruzzese

    No way Phil Hughes makes $15 million per even with an awesome season. He just doesn't have the track record yet. Maybe $10 million a year is a bit more realistic.

  • Ken

    I couldn't agree with you more. This guy is a joke to the Yankee tradition and thinks by saving millions in tax dollars is worth losing billions in team value. Would love to see mark Cuban buy this team as he is the second coming of GS

  • Ken

    The Bean Counter we know as Hal Steinbrenner has sunk to new lows. I am not sure if he ranks up there with what the Jets are all about but he is a close second. This franchise was built by reinvesting in the product and Hal's philosophy is to line his pockets and laugh all the way to the bank. You have to spend money to make money and I don't want to hear about that we are the highest payroll crap because cashman is and was inept in his deals that put us in this situation in the first place.

    Lets look at some of the things Cashman did, first lets look at his trades or FA signings of pitchers. Pavano, Wright, Weaver, Brown, Igawa, Felciano, Vasquez twice and not wanting to sign Soriano which he was overruled by Randy Levine and we all know where the Yanks would have been without Soriano last year. He trades his top prospect for not one but two damaged goods pitchers.

    Now lets look at his farm system which is a joke, he hasn't drafted one 20 game winner or stud pitcher in his tenure. He drafts Brackman in the first rd knowing he needs TJ surgery. Where is Brackman now? He is out of baseball. He has no talent on the farm above single A. He instituted the Joba rules and ruined that kid. He has been able to buy his way out of giving stupid contracts like Tex and others and now that he has a budget he has to get creative and we all know this guy can't do it. Why is is that Cherington of the Roid Sox was able to get rid of over 250 million dollars worth of deadwood yet Cashman couldn't get rid of anything we have deadwood like Tex and get anything in return? The guy is a 2nd rate gm and we will be lucky to be anywhere near the playoffs for the next few years with these jokers running the show.

    Time for the bean counter to sell and lets get rid of this repelling fool named cashman who would rather pickup skank women and repel down buildings then to do his job.

  • thurmanmantle

    I don't understand why they wouldn't just let Cano go in free agency, or trade him at the deadline. He's no good in october, he proves it every year. We need players that don't freeze up in october, like Cano and Arod do, although this year none of them did much in october. 39 and 40 year old ball players don't seem to freeze up in october. I don't have much use for head-cases like Cano and Arod, especially in october when it counts the most.

  • martyvan

    I totally disagree with the majority of posters. I assume they're too young or suffer from fan amnesia. The current Yankee run was built by resetting- of course it took Stein Sr. getting sent to the penalty box for the second time… The current trend line for the Yankees (absent a reset) is to over pay declining stars, and pay welfare to #hitsburgh et al- just like the eighties. Short term pain long term POTENTIAL gain.

  • martyvan

    Greg,

    Thanks. I don't know that they need to be "90-92 bad" if they "reset" by being prudent about who they sign. You and I both know the payroll goes up over 225 million after the MLB tax resets and I trust they'll spend wisely and we'll retain talent we should and fill spots as necessary. Personally I'll take the chance in 2013 and 2014 to avoid paying skinflint owners and their fans who don't understand the regional funding nature of baseball versus national contracts in the NFL. It kills me to have to spend $600 to take my kids to a game at Yankee Stadium and know 30% of that revenue is going into another franchise… Thanks great site you're running!

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