Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Arbitration Could Make or Break the Yankees Offseason

Photo Credit to New York Daily News

Good morning Yankees family and welcome to another slow offseason day here in the Bronx and around Major League Baseball. What do we know? We know the Yankees made the biggest splash this offseason, to date anyway, with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. We know the Yankees unloaded salary with the Chase Headley and Starlin Castro trades, and continue to look to unload salary, with the hopes of getting under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million. We also know that the Yankees still need or want at least one of a second baseman, third baseman and a pitcher, either a reliever or starter. The Yankees look stacked right now, but it could all be for nothing if the team cannot get under the luxury tax threshold keeping them out of the Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and possibly the Clayton Kershaw sweepstakes among others before the 2019 season. While many see the Yankees payroll as it stands today and thinks the team has X amount of dollars available to spend one must remember a few things when calculating payroll including one such event that happens here in about a week, arbitration.

Arbitration could make or break the Yankees offseason and it could be a huge indicator of what is to come for the club as far as their offseason spending goes. If the Yankees can’t come to terms with their players and/or the team gets hit with a number bigger than expected through the arbitration process the team may begin scrambling trying to unload more salary, see David Robertson as possibly the first one to go. If the team comes out better than expected than you may see the team dip their toes into the free agent market while also trying to unload more salary, just maybe this time with a Jacoby Ellsbury while eating salary.

The Yankees have eight arbitration-eligible players this offseason, seen below with MLB Trade Rumors projected salaries in parenthesis, that the Yankees will either have to sign or will go through the arbitration process with on January 12.

Adam Warren ($3.1 million)
Didi Gregorius ($9 million)
Dellin Betances ($4.4 million)
Sonny Gray ($6.6 million)
Austin Romine ($1.2 million)
Aaron Hicks ($2.9 million)
Tommy Kahnle ($1.3 million)
Chasen Shreve ($900K)

Now the Yankees reportedly have $30 million set aside and budgeted for the arbitration process this offseason and a quick add up of those numbers from MLB Trade Rumors above comes up to just $29.4 million. That gives the Yankees about $600K to play with, a scary thought when you consider that MLBTR is generally close with their predictions, but not always 100% accurate. If just one player, Didi Gregorius or Dellin Betances for example, goes and gets more money than expected the Yankees offseason is thrown into a complete loop upside down.


So many Yankees fans are wondering why the team has been slow to acquire Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Yu Darvish off the free agent market or any infielder to speak of but you may just have your answer right there. The team is possibly waiting for these numbers to be exchanged before pulling the trigger on anything, and that’s smart if the team still wants to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. Patience and being patient sucks Yankees family, but remember that in Brian Cashman we trust. The “Ninja” always has a plan. 

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