"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Let Me Tell You How It Will Be

Over at Baseball Musings our old pal David Pinto suggests that the reason for the Yankees’ lack of spending could be because they don’t want to get hit with a major tax rate in a few years.


1 ms october   ~  Dec 27, 2011 8:57 am

these are not george's yankees.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 27, 2011 9:16 am

Not sure whether that is a good thing or not.

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 27, 2011 9:19 am

Before this tax thing kicks in, the Yanks are going to have to address the OF and 2B. Cano, Swisher and Granderson will become free agents before then. They have no outfield prospects in the high minors and I have to think Cano is in their long term plans. It's also possible that by the that time, Arod will no longer be a 3B. So that's 4 positions they might have to fill, plus build a rotation, while keeping the payroll under 189.

4 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 27, 2011 9:23 am

[2] It's a good thing. The only part of the plan that probably win't come off well is that if they wait around for young star pitchers to become free agents, they usually won't get there. Gotta hope Banuelos becomes a good pitcher.

5 ms october   ~  Dec 27, 2011 9:25 am

yeah there is a lot of work to do to continue to field a good team starting in a couple of years.
given the financial discipline or whatever you want to call it, seems even more likely they hold on to montero for awhile.

6 Bruce Markusen   ~  Dec 27, 2011 9:37 am

This is not a good thing. The one inherent advantage that the Yankees have over the other 29 teams is money. If they don't spend it, they lose that advantage.

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 27, 2011 10:10 am

[6] They didn't become the Rays, right? They still have, by far, the highest payroll in the game. And they did give CC a raise to keep him off the market.

They just didn't throw money after a few pitchers who probably won't be that good in 2014. The Darvish thing, I can't explain that way, but whether or not he's going to be good, I don't know and the Yanks don't know. If there were a sure-thing free agent that met their needs, I think they would have gone for it.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 27, 2011 10:24 am

7) Agreed. They went hard after Lee last year. And they'll go after the guy they want in the future. I just think Cashman is more selective about who those guys are, where with George he just went after the big names each year no matter what.

9 William J.   ~  Dec 27, 2011 12:19 pm

Joel Sherman reported this about six weeks ago, and if you think about it, the idea makes sense. Because of the way the new CBA is structured, the Yankees can benefit significantly by dropping below the luxury tax threshold in just one season. By doing that, the tax rates and corresponding revenue sharing kickback penalties would reset, allowing the Yankees to enjoy a savings over the rest of the term of the CBA. The reason 2014 is the target is because that year the luxury tax threshold rises. I don't think the Yankees are in a profit taking mode, but I do think they are going to avoid any move that could hurt their chances of being below the tax limit in the near-term unless it provides real long-term value.

10 Bruce Markusen   ~  Dec 27, 2011 8:00 pm

Yes, the Yankee payroll is still the highest, but they have done virtually nothing to add to it, and in fact have seen it go down with the departure of Posada.

The lack of spending, if that is the primary reason for the Yankee inactivity, has meant this: no significant additions to the starting rotation for the second straight winter, and nothing done to address the bench. Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez remain unsigned, even though the Yankees say they want to bring back both players. So that leaves the bench as currently Cervelli, Nunez, and Dickerson. That's just not good enough, especially for a team that has two key aging players at shortstop and third base.

Now maybe Cashman and company are smart enough to overcome the lack of spending. But I don't know what Cashman is any smarter than the Rays' GM Friedman, or the Tigers' Dombrowski, or the Rangers' Daniels. So the Yankees are basically leveling the playing field when they had a clear advantage over those teams when it came to spending.

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