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.