Yankees set record with $230.4M payroll, money not well spent, plus notes

Alex Rodriguez

A lot of people, myself included, have accused the Yankees of caring more about profits than winning this offseason, but despite that they will set a record with their payroll at $230.4 million this offseason.

While that is technically true it is how they’ve spent their money, with relatively little money committed after this season limiting them to older players on one-year deals, and not how much money they’ve spent this season that bothers most fans.

For instance, don’t forget that the $230.4 million figure includes $8.5 million spent on A.J. Burnett and $11.5 million on the walking dead Vernon Wells. The Yankees are also spending $39.5 million on third base alone thanks to Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery that still could potentially keep him from playing ever again.

With the goal of getting the payroll beneath $189 million by next year and $83.3 million committed to just five players already (one of which, unfortunately, is Wells), the Yankees will be limited to filling the rest of the team on just roughly $93.7 million (remember, about $12 million goes toward player benefits).

That’s really not a lot considering Robinson Cano will cost at least $20 million and they don’t have a lot of cheap homegrown talent already in the major leagues. There are a few options close to the major league level, but all prospects are question marks and the Yankees rarely trust them anyway.

Their two highest paid players, A-Rod and Mark Teixeira, will not live up to their contracts either so they’re going to have to, somehow, find better bats than them at cheaper prices. CC Sabathia may also be joining them soon as players on huge deals that are in decline and not living up to expectations.

Needless to say it will be very hard for them to put together a team that is championship caliber next year. All of this, of course, is self imposed and at a time when the team is making record profits.

It’s one thing to cut payroll, and if they did it the right way I do feel that most fans would support them. But they are cutting payroll without a strong and consistent farm team churning out players while they are saddled with at least two, and maybe three, albatross contracts. It’s a perfect, and self imposed, storm that has already come at the cost of the quality on the field and it will only get worse.

So the Yankees have indeed set a spending record this year, but it is the way that the money has been spent and the arbitrary cutting of spending next year that is what’s bothering fans.

• Robinson Cano might have fired Scott Boras, but he just signed his deal with Boras on March 20th and players owes the agent fees for 12 months after signing a deal. So Boras may get a piece of Cano’s next deal anyway.

• There was some trade speculation surrounding Joba Chamberlain after the Rangers had scouts following him. However, the two sides never discussed a possible deal.

• With draft pick compensation for Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano, the Yankees have three out of the first 33 picks and $7,957,400 to spend on the first 10 rounds (12 picks).

• This one was obviously, but Brian Cashman finally admitted that Derek Jeter won’t be ready by April 6. Jeter, coming off ankle surgery, suffered a setback and had to be shut down a couple of weeks ago. No word on when they realistically expect Jeter back. He’s not even doing anything except playing catch right now.

• Phil Hughes will not pitch for the Yankees Saturday and instead will pitch for the Triple-A RailRaiders that day.

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8 Responses to Yankees set record with $230.4M payroll, money not well spent, plus notes

  1. Keena says:

    I feel like hanging myself after reading news about the Yankees lately. They make the Jets seem like the world's greatest run team by comparison.

  2. guest says:

    "With the goal of getting the payroll beneath $189 million by next year and $83.3 million committed to just five players already (one of which, unfortunately, is Wells), the Yankees will be limited to filling the rest of the team on just roughly $93.7 million (remember, about $12 million goes toward player benefits)."
    I believe that the Yankees will owe Wells about 2 million next year with the Angles picking up the rest. I am sure that if there is no need for him or if he is blocking some kid, he could be cut to open a spot for someone else. Also, Ichiro doesn't have a no trade clause in his contract.

    • It's true that the bulk of the money owed Wells is being paid this year, but they still owe him $2.4 million next year even if they cut him. When we're talking about finding 20 players to round out a roster on just $90 million, that extra $2.4 will make a difference somewhere whether it be a bench player they can't sign or an extra reliever.

      Also, while it is true that Ichiro doesn't have a no trade clause, if he deteriorates to the point where the Yankees would be looking to trade him there probably won't be many interested teams. His name still rings out, but there aren't a lot of teams looking to deal for a 40-year-old who makes $6.5 million if he's only able to manage an OPS in the .600-.650 range.

      The point is that the Yankees will only be able to fill out the rest of their roster with players who average just $4.5 million. Now a lot of that can go toward players on cheap contracts, but there isn't a lot of wiggle room.

  3. guest says:

    Even if we get to 167 million (+12 player benefits) for 189 million, the other teams in our division are:
    Balt……..93 million
    TB……….62 million
    BJays…..118 million
    Dead sox…158 million
    We will still be the highest team in our division.

    • Yes, but those teams aren't saddled with the contracts of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, who will not come close to playing up to their deals. CC Sabathia could be on that list in a year as well.

    • Keena says:

      " We will still be the highest team in our division. "

      Yes and by far and away the worst team also. These next few seasons could make the Stump Merrill Era seem like the late 90s by comparison. It would not surprise me if we finished with the worst record in baseball this season.

      What are the chances of us being sellers at the deadline for once? Ship out CC, Hughes, Granderson, Ichiro, Kuroda and possibly even Cano if it looks like we can't resign him anyway. Then of course let Pettitte. Rivera and Jeter's contracts come off the books as they retire and all of a sudden we have tons of money to spend. Though if I know Hal, he'll just want to pigeon hole it and get the entire team payroll under $30million or so.