Is It The 2014 Plan.. Or The 2015 Plan?
As we have heard all off season long the Yankees have a plan for the 2014 season. The plan, the way we are all taking it, is that the Yankees want to be under the luxury tax threshold by the start of the 2014 season, setting our payroll under $189 million, to avoid a 50% tax on top of what we go over on the threshold. In a business aspect of it the Yankees would be in line to save in excess of $50 million dollars if they are willing and able to do this. Let's remember that the Yankees would also be in line for a tax rebate of somewhere between 25-50% for what they have put into the revenue sharing pot. The beauty of it is 2014 is the only season that we need to be under the tax threshold to get the $50 million dollars and wont have to pay the revenue sharing of 50% anymore... everything starts fresh.
So let's look at some of the possible free agents for the 2015 season. By the way, yes I know it is nearly impossible to predict three seasons ahead and probably useless.. but it is 1/29/12 and nothing else is going on in the Yankees world. Anyway, on to the free agents.
If you are asking me right now I am excited about this new plan. In 3 years we will know whether the Alex Rodriguez decline is real or if he just fell into some bad luck injury wise the last couple of seasons. If the decline is a true decline we have ourselves a DH possibility and a replacement in Evan Longoria just waiting.
We, presumably, will be without Derek Jeter also in that same season and look who will be waiting there via free agency. None other then Hanley Ramirez. Especially if he does not like playing 3rd base down in Miami and playing second fiddle to Jose Reyes. If not Hanley then there are plenty of alternatives, namely Elvis Andrus.
Brett Gardner will be a free agent after this season and as much as I would not like to lose his gritty speedy type play both on the base paths and in the field... Nick Markakis, right now, is a hell of an upgrade.
The pitching class is insane. Not that I expect a Kershaw to be there, nor do I really expect Max Scherzer to be there, but we are talking now. Oh yeah did I mention that 2011 MVP and CY Young award winning Justin Verlander will be there as well? While we will still have CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and presumably Phil Hughes, Dellin Betances, and Manny Banuelos to name a few.
In 2015 I could see the Yankees, if they get under the tax threshold in 2014, going all out in 2015 much like they did in 2009 or the Marlins did this offseason. I, personally, am already penciling the Yankees on the World Series Trophy in 2015 ;)