Monday, September 30, 2013

We Can Improve & Get Under The Luxury Tax In 2014

The New York Yankees can absolutely improve their team and take a legit shot at getting under the 2014 luxury tax threshold that could give us a reset on the penalties we pay to other teams. It will not be easy mind you and we will have to rely on some of our homegrown guys that did not exactly install much confidence in us this season but it can be done. The free agent market is one of the lighter ones in recent history with guys like Jose Dariel Abreu and Brian McCann towards the top of the offensive free agent rankings and Matt Garza and Masahiro Tanaka leading the charge for the pitchers. Let's take a look at what the Yankees would look like if I were running the show, trying to improve on 2013, and get under the 2014 luxury tax threshold.

C: Brian McCann
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Eduardo Nunez
LF: Alfonso Soriano
CF: Brett Gardner
RF: Zoilo Almonte
DH: Jose Dariel Abreu

BN: Francisco Cervelli
BN: Brendan Ryan
BN: Jayson Nix
BN: Ichiro Suzuki
BN: David Adams

While we are making a serious run at the $189,000,000 luxury tax thresh hold some guys had to be cut off the roster that I have been originally clamoring for. The Yankees will not see a Michael Young on the team because he is aging, declining, and probably too expensive for us. Mark Reynolds did well as a Yankee under Kevin Long's watch but I think we should ultimately cut ties while we are ahead. I originally wanted him to play at third base and first base when Mark Texeira needed a day off but David Adams could do that in a pinch as well and comes about $7-$8 million cheaper. Also I am pretty impressed by what Eduardo Nunez did the last month or so of the season both at the plate and on the field at third base. I think if we stick Nunez at third and third only he can get comfortable and be the plus defender that he was in the minor leagues. Chris Stewart has to go as we have four catchers on the 40 man roster and he should be the lowest on the totem pole. The fact that Austin Romine and JR Murphy both have options remaining either has them being sent down or in a potential trade as both have some potential trade value. Vernon Wells costs us nothing against the luxury tax so he could easily be cut, released, or traded while we give Zoilo's switch hitting bat a shot in right field. The Yankees have some serious infield depth with the likes of Brendan Ryan, Jayson Nix, and David Adams all being able to play in multiple positions each including every infield spot but catcher.

SP: CC Sabathia
SP: Matt Garza/Masahiro Tanaka/ Hiroki Kuroda/ Free Agent
SP: Ivan Nova
SP: Michael Pineda
SP: Adam Warren

CL: David Robertson
RP: Dellin Betances
RP: Shawn Kelley
RP: Preston Claiborne
RP: Cesar Cabral
RP: David Phelps

Obviously I do not expect the Yankees to go into the season with Ivan Nova as their number two starter with two guys coming off of an injury and someone who has never been a starter in the majors full time but this is what we have now. I think Adam Warren has pretty much solidified, barring an injury or disastrous Spring Training, at least a 5th starter spot next season after a strong 2013 season in the bullpen and as a spot starter. If we sign a veteran starter or two then obviously Vidal Nuno would be the first to go down to the pen or the minor leagues. After that it would get interesting because I think the Yankees almost have to send Pineda out at this point and get something for him.That pretty much looks like the bullpen that we will send out there. If Nuno, Warren, or a veteran middle reliever get signed them David Huff would get designated for assignment followed by a tough David Phelps decision.

This team would probably be just as good as the 2013 team and a whole lot cheaper. Now I know we missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 2008 and we want to get better, not stand pat, but think about it if we can lose Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rodriguez, and Hiroki Kuroda and still be just as good by building from within I cannot think of anymore that we can ask for. Especially considering that we would have plenty of trade chips for the July 31st trade deadline. This is going to be the most interesting off season that we have ever seen as Yankees fans and it may be a slow and boring one for us but as long as we take care of our own, namely Robinson Cano, and fill in big offensive upgrades where we can, namely Jose Dariel Abreu and Brian McCann, we should be just fine if not better in 2014 while still getting under the 2014 luxury tax threshold.

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