Rumor: Luxury tax may keep the Yankees from signing Todd Frazier


Interest remains between the Yankees and free agent third baseman Todd Frazier, a pair of sources with knowledge of their correspondence have told NJ Advance Media.

But the team’s mission to stay beneath the $197-million payroll luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season has kept the sides from speaking much this offseason, according to one of the sources.

Frazier, who has made teams aware he’s seeking a multi-year deal, has continued to speak with multiple clubs. It’s unclear how much money he wants. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported the Yankees’ projected payroll currently stands at about $178 million. Frazier made $12 million last season.

The AP thinks the Yankees payroll is at $178 million, the NY Post says $182 million. Either way, the Yankees are roughly $17 million from the threshold, but they want to leave themselves space for mid-season deals so there is no way they go right up to $197 million to start the 2018 season.

The problem right now is Jacoby Ellsbury and the $23 million per year, and $68.5 million overall, that he’s owed. The Yankees would like to get rid of it before making more deals, but teams aren’t interested right now because there are options still available on the free agent market that are just as good and probably much cheaper. So the Yankees must wait. The problem is that Todd Frazier probably won’t if another team offers him the right multi-year deal.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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21 Responses to Rumor: Luxury tax may keep the Yankees from signing Todd Frazier

  1. Terry says:

    I like Todd F. Great club house guy, can play 3rd well, fill in at 1st if need be and has some pop in that bat. The low average and Ellsbury’s spot on the roster the only hold backs. If we could swing a trade for a controllable young starter and shed a little payroll, we could still swing it. He would be good insurance for Andujar’s development and against possible injuries for Bird. I think the search for another starter has him on the back burner. I wouldn’t mind if they brought him back at all. It would be nothing but a positive

    • Yankeedon says:

      12million for a 200 hotter is nuts! Hire a clown for clubhouse fun!!

    • Jerry says:

      Definitely right, he brought a lot of life to that dugout. And yes a terrific glove with good pop. Mark him down for 30 dingers and batting at the bottom of the order. And with the Yankees last year, a 365. On base percentage. I'd love to have him back and there's nothing funny about having him in the lineup.

  2. Balt Yank says:

    I like Todd Frazier too and he is a good supporting player, but no reason to block a promising rookie. I would not sign him for more than one year, $10, so let him go elsewhere. I'd rather see the kids play and we have Anjudar for 3B, Torres for 3B/2B, and Toe for back up and Toe hit 275 last year. He is the sort of table setter needed to generate runs from Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Bird.

  3. I was surprised at how good defensively Todd Frazier was. ARod was good, but not that good. Frazier was probably their best defensive third baseman since Scott Brosius. He can play first base and his agent even said that he's willing to play 2nd. He definitely fits in with the Yankees roster, but I'm afraid the Yankees might get held up because of Ellsbury.

  4. buckeyeballs says:

    if they can't trade Jake they need to keep the space free for a mid season addition-they will have a lot to trade and need to keep options open for 2 months of a potentially big contract

  5. tom says:

    Dang Dang.. I wish Yankees have breezier situation. Nice of Frazier to wait longer.

  6. Steve S. says:

    Ellsbury's holding fast to his no trade and that's his right, but it hurts their flexibility. I'm a play the kids guy, but even if Andujar is still here next season (and I have my doubts about that) it makes sense to bring in a veteran. Frazier is a good fit, but I would be against giving him more than two years even if they can figure out a way to shoehorn him in. I'm reasonably sure he can get a more lucrative contract elsewhere.

  7. Sammy Sansone says:

    Damm that Ellsbury….It was Cashman's worst FA move imo. I think Cashman was 'forced' into the move by the meddling Hank Stein. Full no-trade clauses should never be added to a Yankee contract again. Actually, any no-trade should not be added. Also, the opt out screws mgmt both ways. I have an out of the box solution. Start training Ells to play 3b now. He still has good reflexes. At very worst he can be a backup (since the Yanks are stuck for another 3 yrs). If he refuses then suspend him without pay.

    • Steve S. says:

      Ellsbury throws left handed. That wouldn't work out too well, especially for a novice third baseman. After the Arod contract fiasco in 2008, I think Hank was stripped of all player interaction responsibilities.

      • Jerry says:

        I remember Don Mattingly playing 3rd for a couple of games. The good old days!

        • Steve S. says:

          Yeah, I remember that too, but I don't remember the circumstances. Had to be some sort of emergency measure. That Mattingly was some player. A vacuum for a glove and when his back was right, one of the most feared hitters in the game. I used to love the way he came charging in on bunts to nail the runner at third. Or second for that matter, but it's his bang, bang throws to third that are stuck in my memory bank.

          • Jerry says:

            Not just the hitting, where doubles were the norm , and rarely struck out. But chasing after that elusive fly ball down the right field line, fair or foul and catching up to it with his back towards home plate and then stopping instantly and making the throw to the correct base. Nobody did it better. He was my favorite and I'm sure many others.

    • tom says:

      If Ellsbury played at 3B, we would see too many thrown balls bouncing on the ground for at least 4 times. lol.

  8. Steve S. says:

    Heard the Tigers turned down the Yankees pitch for Michael Fulmer. Yankees offered Frazier, Wade and Estrada. Tigers wanted more. I don't think they have to make a trade now, but it's what Cashman does. The problem with waiting is if a need arises during the season, the same pitchers they're looking at now will become more expensive. I'd love it if they went the free agent route. Who to go after is the question. I think Cobb could be primed to succeed. Getting back to the trade that didn't happen with the Tigers, if the names were correct, and the Yankees were willing to move both Wade and Estrada it argues that they are looking for some infield versatility in the trade market. I know they like Brandon Drury, but can they get him without Corbin. Josh Harrison is another possibility, but getting either one of these guys without the respective pitchers thrown in could be problematic. They are both versatile which is a big plus, but unless either one is plugged in at third for next season I'm not excited about giving away a prized prospect for a utility player, especially Harrison. At least Drury is still in his mid twenties.

  9. Balt Yank says:

    Mattingly was an amazing player. His doubles were rockets. He was like Bernie Williams when Bernie was hot, and Mattingly was always hot. He had a great eye and he had total class. Ricky was fun to watch too, from the crouch in the batter's box to the "snatch catch" to the steals, of course. A fun though heartbreaking era for the Yankees due to our lack of pitching. We don't need any more pitching trades. We just traded for Sonny Gray and resigned CC. The revolving door approach to trading does not work. The grown your own and add "key parts" works.

  10. Nunzio says:

    Andujar at third , Torres at 2nd go with it let these two kids hit or field themselves out of the lineup, the way to the top is to try your talent down under Sanchez is still learning to block balls, Judge is still learning to not swing out of the strike zone , Bird is still learning his craft and our pitchers still struggle , yet look how far they went in the playoffs , give these two kids a chance and keep the payroll in control, we do not need Machado or another high price second basement, let’s leep the farm moving up we do not have to hit the big free agent we have it right under us and that’s where the yankees need to stay.

    • Jerry says:

      You're right, you would think they would believe in these young players. It's worked out pretty well so far. Maybe there just doing their due diligence. The funny thing is, it will probably work out that way. Andujar at 3rd and Torres at 2nd.

  11. hotdog says:

    too bad the Yankees don’t have the money for Fraizer…he’d be a nice addition…very good obp offsetting his batting average, power, good defense, great eye and great for the clubhouse…

  12. tom says:

    Is it me or what? Not many major FA are signed in MLB?

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