Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Want to Save Money? Extend These Players Now!

The New York Yankees have made it no secret that they wish to get under the luxury tax threshold sooner rather than later. In today’s game of inflated salaries, specialists and 40 man rosters the only way a team is going to do that is if they have young and controllable players at their disposal, something the Yankees seem to be swimming in at this point and time. If you’re unfamiliar with the way the whole arbitration process and free agency goes the team basically gets the player for their first two years of service at the league minimum before the arbitration process begins. If the team and player cannot reach an agreement on a salary for that season it goes before an arbitrator, see the Dellin Betances mess from this past offseason, and the salary is agreed upon that way. We have seen many teams skip the arbitration process entirely by extending their young players early thus buying out their arbitration years and maybe a year or two of free agency thus giving the teams some certainty going forward while the player has some guarantee and security. If the Yankees want to save money and get under the luxury tax threshold they may want to look at extending one or all of these players now before they get too expensive to.  

The players that the Yankees should look at extending are clearly obvious but I will lay them out here regardless.  Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and even Greg Bird despite his injury history should at least be discussed when thinking about which players to extend sooner rather than later. All of these players are either at or below one full year of MLB service time yet their WAR’s suggest that the sky is the limit for each of them.  

Why extend them now? Extending players now can save the Yankees a ton of money in the long run as contracts continue to climb in terms of value. Look at recent examples like Joey Votto, Dallas Keuchel and others for an instance of teams that waited too long to extend players. The players got all the bargaining power and all the bargaining chips and signed to either huge deals or got huge amounts of money through the arbitration process. Even Dellin Betances, although I find him to be severely underpaid personally, got a $2.5 million raise this year through arbitration when he should have, again in my opinion, been extended by now. 

Sign these players to deals worth six-or-seven years to buy out their arbitration and maybe a year-or-two of free agency and roll the dice. It may be a gamble worth taking. The Yankees don’t necessarily have to do this this year either, they could try and get under the luxury tax threshold first and then sign these players but they run the risk of these players no longer being cheap and earning huge contracts. The safe bet is to sign them now in my opinion, especially before Aaron Judge attends an All-Star Game and potentially wins a Rookie of the Year and/or MVP award in 2016. 

Also, in closing, I will say that I may have over-simplified the explanation of the arbitration process and free agency. It gets more complicated than the Readers Digest version I laid out. You have Super Two status players and you can manipulate service time by keeping players down in the Minor Leagues and all that but that was more or less not the point of the post. The point of the post was extending players now before it doesn’t make sense for the players to sign these potentially team-friendly deals. Keep that in mind before spamming me with hate emails and tweets. Thanks in advance. 


  1. The problem is management , Yankees had no problem shelling out 3.5 million to Carter but acts like the world is ending when Betances is asking for 5 million.
    Sign him to an extension and Severino and Judge and Pineda your going to need a veteran with all these young pitchers.Pineda over CC because we need to get some production put of our veteran.
    CC started like this last year but was gassed at the end.

    1. False Rev.

      Yes, I agree that these players should be extended. But you are wrong that it should be done now. It would save in the long run, but hurt in the short run. Our goal is to get under the luxury tax, and the best chance to do it is after next season. If you extend these players now, we would be adding the AAV to the payroll. So instead of league min that they can be getting, this just costs the team an extra 25 million.

      100% should extend these players long term and eat up a couple free agent years. But you're a year too early.


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