Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Where do the Yankees go from here? Payroll questions loom large

Even though the off-season recently got underway, it is never too early to start thinking about 2016. In fact, many of us have been pondering next season while watching the Yanks slog their way through September! Brian Cashman will have to be creative in order to field a successful 2016 team and not have essentially a repeat of 2015. Reports indicate that the Yankees are open to trading any player and do not want to dip into the free agency.

Cashman needs to rethink this off-season how to position his team for a successful rebuilding in order to meet both the short and long-term goals. Cashman is reportedly working on a restrained budget since Yankees brass awaits some contracts to end before taking upon new long-term investments. While that is a sound monetary strategy, the Yankees results these past few seasons indicate they don’t have that luxury of standing pat (at least) for the next few years if they want to remain competitive. Their aging roster certainly isn’t going to get them where they need to be to achieve results Yankees-style.

Relying on the aforementioned aging roster paid some dividends this season, as Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez helped lead the Yankees to their first post-season appearance since 2012. However, they need to do more than simply depend on their older veterans in order to achieve success that has been lacking recently. If the Yankees want to return to the playoffs (for more than a one night-stand) they will have to make some sort of moves, unless Cashman gets approval to add additional contracts to the team’s historically large payroll. Looking ahead, Teixeira and Carlos Beltran’s contracts come off the books after this season. It’s hard to foresee the Yankees not signing at least one big-ticket free agent. They are the Yankees after all.

In order to do so, Cashman will have to trade an existing contract to free up some payroll. It’s been rumored that Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller both could be moved this off-season. While it would sad to see them go, trading one or both players would be a tremendous help for the future of the franchise. The off-season is already off to a good start with the Yankees acquiring Aaron Hicks from the Twins for John Ryan Murphy.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)