A few weeks ago, the Yankees were signing everybody in sight and the idea of operating this offseason in shackles imposed by the 189-constraint seemed like the forgotten details of a bad dream.
Then they didn’t sign anyone expensive to play second base nor to compete for the closer/8th-inning job. They haven’t filled in the vacancies in the rotation. They sit, on December 20th, with a prospective payroll of about $213 million for 2014. But of course, that includes $27.5 million slotted for Alex Rodriguez. In fact, if Alex Rodriguez plays a full season, he’ll cost $33.5 million because he’ll pass Willie Mays on the homer list, so really they are looking at $219 million.
And what’s $219 million minus $33.5 million? $185.5 million. Snugly under the 189-constraint. We’re back to this shit again, just in time for the holiday.
Is it possible that the Yankees front office has been given the following program to run:
Step 1) Assume Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season.
Step 2) Spend right up to $189 million
Step 3) Wait to find out if Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season.
Step 4) If suspension upheld, keep payroll as is and proceed to spring training.
Step 4A) If suspension overturned, TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON!
Unfortunatley, if that’s the plan, just as Randolph and Mortimer Duke found out, it’s probably too late. The price the Yankees will pay for waiting this long is at least a crappy second baseman. And what happens if the starting pitchers don’t wait for them?
The 189 plan screwed up the 2013 team. And looking over at second base, it’s hard to say it won’t impact 2014 as well. We won’t know for sure what they’re going to do until they do it.
But ladies and gentlemen, if this is your 2014 Yankees, yeesh.