Wednesday, January 2, 2013
As of Dec. 31, 2012, the Yankees’ payroll was right at the targeted threshold of $189 million, give or take a few hundred thousand. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts at BaseballProspectus.com, the Yankees have contractual commitments to 14 players worth $189,475,000. That includes Kevin Youkilis’s new one-year, $12 million contract and the $8.5 million they still owe A.J. Burnett.
But it doesn’t include technically unsigned players like Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova and Clay Rapada, who are under the Yankees’ control but are either arbitration eligible or will have their contracts renewed for 2013. Once the Yankees come to agreements with those players, the payroll will rise, but it won’t affect their seemingly ironclad plan to be under $189 million for 2014, the year that significant luxury tax incentives kick in.
If the Yankees are over the $189 million mark for 2014, their luxury tax rate would soar to 50 percent (they are currently at 40 percent). If they are below it, the rate would plummet to 17.5 percent, and that could translate into potential savings of $50 million. Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing general partner, has clearly stated his desire to be under the mark, which is why the Yankees have, for the most part, made only tepid advances in the free-agent market in the past two seasons.
Unless the Yankees work out a trade for Curtis Granderson to clear out payroll space, I’m guessing the roster they have now is the roster they’ll start the season with. If they can get Scott Hairston to sign for one year that may be the only other major addition. I suppose if Cesar Cabral shows enough in spring training they could trade Boone Logan as well.
With Hairston, they’re probably around a 90 win team. That probably puts them in a dead heat with Toronto for first place in the East, although I think the Rays could add a bat that would put them right up there as well.
Happy New Year!
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