Wednesday, December 14, 2016
So far this offseason, the two largest free-agent contracts have been handed out by the New York teams. Just like a good old days, eh?
The Mets retained Yoenis Cespedes with a four-year contract worth $110 million while the Yankees committed $86 million across five years to Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees also added Matt Holliday on a one-year deal worth $13 million.
Surely both New York clubs want to continue making moves this offseason—the Mets could use bullpen help and the Yankees need a little of everything—but, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, they’ll have to clear payroll to do anything else. They’re up against their spending limits. From Sherman:
In the aftermath of signing Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million contract (the largest per annum in franchise history), Mets officials have publicly stated a need to trade a significant salary before adding a needed setup man. They prefer to deal the $13 million owed Jay Bruce in 2017 rather than the $15 million of Curtis Granderson.
The Yankees are in the same situation, according to agents who have spoken to the team about their free-agent clients. This is why the Yankees continue to gauge interest in Chase Headley (two years, $26 million) and Brett Gardner (two years, $25 million) as a way to cut a significant salary.
The Yankees have made it very well known they intend to get under the luxury tax threshold as soon as possible, most likely in 2018. The Mets have set their own payroll limit well below the luxury tax threshold, which stems from ownership’s financial problems. The Wilpons are still reeling from the Bernie Madoff scandal.
If only the Yankees hadn’t made the horrific Ellsbury deal. Luckily, there are only five more years remaining on that. Or is it four? Whatever it is, it’s that many years too many.
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