Thursday, January 25, 2018
We know the Yankees want to keep their 2018 payroll below $197 million, in order to reset their luxury-tax obligations. They’re currently looking at both pitchers and position players, one source said, shopping opportunistically for value, more so than need.
At the moment, the Yankees’ payroll commitments add up to roughly $162 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
By that calculation, one might conclude that general manager Brian Cashman has $35 million left to spend.
That’s not accurate.
Instead, sources say the Yankees’ tentative plan allows for another $15 million in spending this offseason—unless Cashman frees up additional payroll by trading reliever David Robertson or outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Here’s why: Under baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the payroll calculation for the Competitive Balance Tax includes benefits, insurance and performance bonuses paid to players on the Major League roster. For the Yankees, that figure could be at least $10 million in 2018.
Moreover, the Yankees want to allocate another $10 million to spend at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and on callups during the season.
That leaves $15 million.
I never understand the luxury tax math used by reporters, because it seems like each guy has their own take on how much cap room that the Yankees actually have. Morosi makes sense here with his math, but maybe he’s missing something, too?
In any event. if the Yankees have $15 million to spend, then I imagine we’ll see them wait until the very end of free agency, to see if guys get desperate. $15 million, though, isn’t getting you Darvish. It might get you Cobb, but is Cobb even much of an upgrade over Jordan Montgomery? $15 million would be more than enough to get you Todd Frazier or Neil Walker, but I imagine it is the years and not the money that is the issue with Frazier.
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