The players on the Yankees current roster have salaries that add up to over 250 million dollars. To put that number into perspective, the salary of the AL All-Stars only added up to 300,000 more dollars than the Yankees. However, the Yankees true payroll “only” adds up to $203 million. The Yankees will have a lot of options and decisions this offseason because of their desire to have their payroll under $189 million. Although it seems like a random number, it is the luxury tax number for Major League Baseball. The Yankees have been hit with the luxury tax for eleven consecutive seasons. The owner of the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner, does not want to pay more luxury tax because the rate significantly rises this year. However, if the Yankees could keep their salary under $189 million, their tax rate would reset to 17.5% and the Yankees would save lots of money. If the Yankees maintain there current spending, they would pay 50%, which is about $25 million. The Yankees have 7 of the 25 highest paid players in baseball and 7 of the highest 12 in the AL.
However, the Yankees have a real chance of keeping their salary under the 189 marker if they are smart and dedicated. The Yankees have been planning a long time for this offseason because they have a strong desire to save money. Thus they will have a lot of free agents and options. Currently, the Yankees payroll is set for $86 million, but this is for a six players, Sabathia, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Wells, Soriano, and Suzuki. However, the Yankees will have to spend less than $103 million to stay under their desired limitation of $189 million. However, the Yankees will have many Arbitration Eligible players, but they will not greatly affect the Yankees aspirations.
Following moves that the Yankees should make this offseason:
1. Sign Robinson Cano.
The Yankees must re-sign Cano this offseason if they want anyone to come and watch them play this offseason. Cano is the Yankees best player and it is an absolute must that they re-sign him to a long term deal. Luckily for the Yankees, teams have realized troubles of signing a player to a deal longer than 8 years. The Yankees should attempt to sign him to a deal that is more money per year instead of a 9 or 10 year deal. The Red Sox deal with Dustin Pedroia will help the Yankees because he signed for under market value. Pedroia’s average deal is for $14 million per year. Cano is not twice as good as Pedroia so he will probably sign a deal for 6-7 years and $25 million per season.
Yankees Salary after Cano: $111
2. Have Jeter opt into his current deal or re-sign for a less money.
The Yankees captain will not be in great position to sign a big deal during the offseason. Although he is a good player, he is old and injury prone. Teams will not be willing to spend big bucks for a 39 year old shortstop, who has lost range and is not a power hitter. Derek knows that his best possibility to brand himself and succeed is in New York with the Yankees. Although Jeter may opt out of his current deal and re-sign with the Yankees, he will not get much more than the $8 million he would get if he opted in to his deal. If he opts out he will sign for 3 years 8-10 per season
Yankees salary after Jeter: $120
3. Re-sign Brett Gardner.
The Yankees will need to have more speed because their offense is not as good as previous years. Gardner is having a good season for the Yankees. He is a steady contributor, steals bases, and plays great defenses. Gardner should win the Gold Glove this season because he plays great defense and can cover lots of ground in center field. Since Gardner is arbitration eligible, he will not be an expensive option in the outfield. He will probably sign another one-year deal for $5 million.
Yankees salary after Gardner: $125
4. Re-sign David Robertson.
Robertson is in the same position as Gardner, last year of arbitration. Robertson has been one of the best set up men in the league over the last three seasons. David will take an even bigger role next season, when Mariano Rivera retires and the closer position is free. Although the Yankees will want to replace Rivera with an established closer, it will probably be too expensive. Robertson may be able to step in for Rivera. Also a set up man will be easier to sign than an established closer. He will probably sign another one-year deal for $6 million.
Yankees salary after Robertson: $131
5. Re-sign Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda.
The Yankees will be forced to put young starters in their starting rotation. Nova has been great as of late for the New York Yankees. Besides for Hiroki Kuroda, Nova has been the Yankees best starting pitcher over the last month. He will be extremely important next season because the Yankees will lose at least one pitcher and probably three. Along with Ivan, Pineda will be an important cog of the Yankees rotation next season. Like Nova, Pineda is young and talented. After having a great rookie season with the Mariners, Pineda has been hurt and spent time in the minors with the Yankees. He will finally have the opportunity to start this year for the Yankees. Luckily for the Yankees, Nova and Pineda will come cheaply, since they are in their first year of arbitration. Expect one million dollar deals for both of them.
Yankees salary after Nova and Pineda: $133
6. Re-sign Eduardo Nunez and David Phelps.
Nunez will be an important part of the 2014 New York Yankees because of their age and injuries. Nunez has the ability to plan all around the infield. The Yankees will need him to play short and third next season because Derek and Alex, if he is not suspended, cannot play more than a few days in a row in the field. Nunez has a solid bat and quick bat speed. He has good speed and is a good youthful addition to the New York Yankees. Nunez is not even arbitration eligible so his contract will probably be worth $500,000. However, he will be more important than his contract because he is versatile and a good player. Like Nunez, Phelps is not arbitration eligible. However, he will have an important part of the 2014 team. Phelps will either be the fifth starter or a long man in the bullpen. He is versatile and a solid pitcher when he is healthy. Phelps has been very good for the Yankees as a bullpen arm and an occasional starter. Excess pitching is always necessary in MLB because a lot of pitchers experience injuries.
Yankees salary after Nunez and Phelps: $134
7. Re-sign Curtis Granderson.
Granderson will be an interesting option this offseason. Since he spent most of his time on the DL this season, he will not be receiving the type of deal he would like to sign. The Yankees will most likely offer Granderson a qualifying offer of $13.8 million. If Granderson signs elsewhere, the Yankees will receive a first or second round pick from that team. However, Granderson will probably sign his tender so he can reach free agency again in a year and sign a more lucrative offer. Curtis has been a great teammate and hitter for the Yankees over the last few years, The extra year will enable Curtis to play more and improve his stock. Curtis will provide more power to the Yankees lineup, which they desperately need at this point. Although the Yankee outfield will seem to be crowded, Soriano will play a lot of DH so his bat is in the lineup.
Yankees salary after Granderson: $148
8. Re-sign Shawne Kelley and Boone Logan and call up Mark Montgomery.
The Yankees, as usual, have a solid bullpen. The Yankees have been known for their ability to build a strong bullpen. When the Yankees were at their best in the late 1990s, their bullpen was automatic. The Yankees bullpen will undergo a lot of changes this offseason because Rivera will retire and Joba, Preston Claiborne, and Adam Warren will not re-sign this offseason. The Yankees have found a solid relief pitcher in Shawne Kelley this season. Mark Montgomery has been a good relief pitcher for the Yankees in the minors over the last few years. He can have a major impact on the Yankees next season since they will probably be losing 4 right handed relievers. Since the Yankees acquired Logan from the Braves a few years ago, he has been their lefty specialist in the bullpen. Since Logan has not been great this offseason, the Yankees can sign him to a cheap long term deal.
Yankees salary after Kelley (.5), Logan (5), and Montgomery (.5): $154
9. Sign Joel Hanrahan and Scott Downs
The Yankees will be undergoing major renovations during the offseason because all of their bullpen arms will be free agents this season. With the departure of Mariano Rivera, the Yankees will have to find a new closer. Although the Yankees hope Robertson can become the closer, he did not succeed last season, when Rivera tore his ACL. The Yankees should sign Joel Hanrahan because he is a veteran arm and knows how to close games at the major league level. Although he has not pitched much this season because of injury, he was extremely successful in the closer role with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since he did not pitch a lot, he will be willing to sign a cheap contract to reinvent himself for the next offseason, $4 million. The Yankees should sign another lefty pitcher this offseason. Today, teams have a few lefty bullpen arms. Boone Logan is not the most consistent reliever so more depth and talent will help the team. Since Rivera is departing, the Yankees will have more money to spend on their bullpen. Downs would probably be willing to sign a deal for about $5 million.
Yankees salary after Downs and Hanrahan: $157
10. Re-sign Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart.
The Yankees will not be able to spend a lot of money on a luxury position, like catcher, if they are going to stay under their budget. Although Francisco may be under speculation because of the Tony Bosch situation, he will probably not heavily suspended. Chris Stewart and Austin Romine will be able to produce at a high enough level until Cervelli returns. Although the production will not be great next season, the Yankees are just waiting for their top prospect Gary Sanchez to be called up to the majors. By 2015, Sanchez should be able to produce for the New York Yankees. The Yankees can live with bad hitting, but solid defense. Both players should sign for about $500,000.
Yankees salary after Stewart and Cervelli: $159
11. Sign Mark Reynolds.
If Alex Rodriguez is not suspended next season, the Yankees will at least need a solid back-up, who can play a lot of games. The Yankees can return to the Bronx Bombers if they sign Mark Reynolds this offseason. Reynolds has great home run power, which will significantly improve the Yankees roster next season. Reynolds will also be able to back-up Mark Teixeira at first baseman if he needs an occasional day off. Reynolds would almost act as a starter because they will be able to play a lot. He will not be that expensive since he consistently has a low average and strikeouts frequently.
Yankees salary after Reynolds: $163
12. Sign Chris Carpenter
Chris Carpenter is one of the most clutch pitchers in baseball. Although he has been hurt over the last two seasons, Carpenter can still pitch, especially in the postseason. Carpenter has led the St. Louis Cardinals to two championships during his career. Since the Yankees want to win championship, he would be a perfect addition because he has a career 3.00 ERA in the postseason. The Yankees will be able to offer Carpenter a incentive laden deal because he has experienced a lot of injuries lately. Carpenter may be willing to leave the Cardinals because they have a deep starting rotation and may not want him anymore. The Yankees would also give Carpenter an opportunity to pitch for a championship. The Yankees should give Chris $5 million in guaranteed money and the possibility to make $11 million if he stays healthy.
Yankees salary after Carpenter- $174
13. Re-sign Kuroda OR sign Josh Johnson.
The Yankees will need two more starting pitchers this offseason. First, the Yankees should attempt to re-sign Kuroda because he has been great for them over the last two seasons. If they cannot re-sign Kuroda, the Yanks should go after Josh Johnson because he is a solid pitcher with a lot of talent. Kuroda will probably cost more than Johnson for the 2014 season because he will only sign a one year deal. More information later in the article.
Yankees salary after Kuroda- $189
Yankees salary after Johnson- $187
Yankees Roster – $187 or $189 million dollar team
Catcher – Stewart and Cervelli
Infield – Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Nunez, and Reynolds
Outfield – Granderson, Suzuki, Gardner, Wells, and Soriano
Starting Pitching – Sabathia, Carpenter, Nova, Pineda, and Johnson/Kuroda
Relief Pitching – Downs, Hanrahan, Kelley, Montgomery, Logan, Robertson, and Phelps
Now, the rest of the Yankees decision will be dependent on Alex Rodriguez. Currently, the Yankees are set to pay $27 million to Alex Rodriguez next season for his services. However, the Yankees would love to rid themselves of his contract so they could sign more productive players. Although the Yankees will not be able to void the whole contract, there may be a way that they can get rid of Rodriguez’s contract for the 2014 season. If MLB suspends Rodriguez for the 2014 season, the New York Yankees will be able to write off his salary. Thus the salary would not count against the payroll, which would be great for the New York Yankees. The Yankees will be given a lot more flexibility and options if A-Rod’s contract does not count against the payroll. Instead of the approximate $28 million, the Yankees would have $55 million more dollars to spend on free agents. The Yankees and their fans should hope that Alex is suspended for the rest of this season and especially next season. The following moves should occur if the MLB saves the Yankees and their fans.
14. Sign Matt Garza.
The Yankees will desperately need pitching next season. The Yankees will probably lose three starting pitchers. Matt Garza would be a great addition to the Yankees because he knows how to pitch in the AL East and has pitched in the post season. Garza is a great arm, but has injury concerns. Garza’s injuries may drop the price tag on Matt Garza this offseason. Since he was hurt over the last few seasons, he does not have the innings pitched like other pitchers. Garza is a solid two for the Yankees and will probably be paid as such during the offseason. Since CC has been ineffective this season and Nova and Pineda are inexperienced, the Yankees will desperately need a talented work horse. He will be an expensive piece this offseason. 5 years at 18 million per season. The Yankees may even be able to offer more money per season than the $18 million. The Yankees will only be able to sign him if A-Rod is suspended.
Without Rodriguez and with Garza – $153
15. Sign Michael Young.
Since Alex Rodriguez will be unable to play if he is suspended, the Yankees will need a player who can play third base. Michael Young is a competent starter and would be a great addition for the New York Yankees. Young is still batting .277 with 7 HR and 32 RBI. Young would sign a one year deal with the Yankees because it would give him a chance to play in the postseason. He would also be given the starting third base position, which some teams would not offer to Young. Young would probably not be too expensive for the Yankees since he is older and on the down side of his career. The Yankees could sign him for $6 million a season.
Without Rodriguez and With Young- $159
16. Sign Carlos Pena/Lyle Overbay rather than Mark Reynolds
The Yankees will need a left handed batter off of the bench instead of a right handed bat. The Yankees do not need another right handed bat off of the bench because they have a few bats from the outfield who are right handed and Eduardo Nunez is right handed. Pena can provide a lot of power off of the bench, which would be great for the team. Pena can also back up Mark Teixeira if he is hurt or needs a day off. Pena would be cheap because he has a lot of flaws. He would cost about 1 million compared to 5 million for Reynolds.
Without Rodriguez and with Pena/Overbay: $155
17. Desperately attempt to re-sign Kuroda OR Carpenter AND sign Josh Johnson.
If the Yankees sign Matt Garza, they will still be in need of one or two more starting pitchers, in order to be a quality, playoff baseball team. The Yankees desperately need to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda for the 2014 season. Similar to Andy Pettitte, he will be signing one year deals for the rest of his career. However, this could be the end for Kuroda, but it is not because of his performance. Over the past two seasons, Kuroda has been the Yankees most consistent and best pitcher. Although Kuroda does not blow away batters, he is extremely smart and does not allow runs to score, 2.51 ERA. He would be a great 2 or 3 for the Yankees during the 2014 season. He would probably sign another $15 million deal. Besides for Hiroki, the Yankees should attempt to sign Josh Johnson this offseason. If Kuroda signs this offseason, the Yankees will have three definite starting pitchers in the rotation. The Yankees would love to have another solid starting pitcher in their rotation, instead of having Nova and Pineda in the starting rotation. If the Yankees sign another solid starting pitcher, Nova and Pineda will not have the pressure of succeeding. If Kuroda does not re-sign, the Yankees will desperately need another starting pitcher and Johnson can fill that need. Although he has not be great this season like other free agent pitchers, he has the most skill and talent. Johnson has improved since coming off of the DL. He would not demand a huge contract, like other pitchers, because he was on the DL this season and has not been great over the last few seasons. The Yankees can sign him for 4 years and $52 million or maybe a deal closer to Kuroda so he can rebound for the next season and score a huge deal like Garza.
Without Rodriguez and with Kuroda and Johnson – $183
Without Rodriguez and Kuroda and with Johnson and Carpenter – $180
If the Yankees are able to dump the A-Rod salary for the 2014 season, the team will be significantly better.
Yankees Roster – $180 or $183 million dollar team
Catcher – Stewart and Cervelli
Infield – Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Young, Nunez, and Reynolds
Outfield – Granderson, Suzuki, Gardner, Wells, and Soriano
Starting Pitching – Sabathia, Garza, Carpenter/Kuroda, Nova/Pineda, and Johnson
Relief Pitching – Downs, Hanrahan, Kelley, Montgomery, Logan, Robertson, and Phelps
Stats and Pics from ESPN.com