What could the 2014 Yankees get for $189,000,000.00?
C: Jesus Montero, $0.5 (24)
1B: Mark Teixeira, $23.2 (34)
2B: Robinson Cano, $23 (31)
3B: Ryan Zimmerman, $23 (29)
SS: Derek Jeter $8 (40)
LF: Yoenis Cespedes $7.5 (28)
CF: Brett Gardner $9 (30)
RF: Mason Williams $0.5 (22)
DH: Alex Rodriguez $26 (38)
Free agents required: 3 – Cespedes, Cano, Zimmerman, $53.5 million
Leaps of faith required: 2 – Jesus Montero is a catcher, Mason Williams, or someone else currently in the system is a Major Leaguer
Other concerns: Derek Jeter at SS at 40, but if he chooses to play, I don’t know how that can be avoided
BUC: Austin Romine $0.5 (25)
MIF: Eduardo Nunez $2 (27)
OF: Slade Heathcott $0.5 (23)
UTIL: Corban Joseph $0.5 (25)
SP: CC Sabathia $24.3 (33)
SP: Cole Hamels $23 (30)
SP: Ivan Nova $2 (27)
SP: Manny Banuelos $0.5 (23)
SP: David Phelps $0.5 (27)
Free agents required: 1 – Cole Hamels, $23 million
Leaps of faith required: 3 – Nova is good, the Yankees currently have 2 Major League quality pitchers in their system and will identify the correct ones and will not destroy them in some weird way
CL: David Robertson $4 (29)
RP: Hector Noesi $0.5 (27)
RP: Dellin Betances $0.5 (26)
RP: Jairo Heredia $0.5 (24)
RP: Chase Whitley $0.5 (25)
RP: Jose Quintana $0.5 (25)
RP: Nik Turley $0.5 (24)
Fifteen league-minimum guys on the rest of the 40-man roster: $7.5 million.
$120.7 + $3.5 + $50.3 + $7 + $7.5 = $189
This version of the 2014 Yankees has the lineup and rotation to be strong contenders, but the weak bullpen is likely to betray them when it matters.
The overall point is that the Yankees have leeway to invest in three superstars for the 2014 roster and they absolutely should do that. I have them re-signing Cano and getting Hamels and Zimmerman but’s that’s just cherry picking the best free agents from the next few classes. To make room for those three superstars though, the 25-man roster needs to have 13 league-minimum players (two in the starting lineup, two in the starting rotation, three on the bench and six in the pen).
It’s recipe for disaster, but an entertaining one like 1987 or 2008. And the other route, eschewing the superstars in favor of a several medium-sized contracts, seems like a worse idea. The 2014 team might be better if they spread the money around (and it might not) but where will they go from there if they are constrained by a bunch of middling contracts? If this has to be the way they proceed, I say grab the stars when they appear and fill in the rest later.
So the topic to Banter, which three stars should be Yankees before 2014?
(A note on methodology. I used Cot’s as the basis for the Yankees 2014 obligations. And I used the following quote from the AP for the basis of payroll calculation in general:
Payroll figures are for 40-man rosters and include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions, such as money included in trades. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted to reflect present-day values.