Saturday, January 13, 2018

Examining the Yankees Payroll Situation After "Arbitration Friday"

Photo credit: Pinstripe Alley

The deadline for players and teams to swap numbers and potentially come to an agreement on a contract for the 2018 season has come and gone and the New York Yankees agreed to terms with each and every one of their arbitration eligible players. I may be only speaking for myself and Dellin Betances here but I will say this anyway, thank goodness. Earlier in the week I personally wrote an article laying out how the arbitration process could make or break the Yankees offseason and their search for austerity. Let's look at how those numbers panned out and how it will or won't affect not only the Yankees attempt to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold but also how it could affect how the organization goes about their offseason both in the trade market and on the free agent market as well.

Here are the eight Yankees arbitration eligible players with their MLB Trade Rumors arbitration prediction numbers in parenthesis and the actual number they agreed to with the team beside it in red. Let's analyze.

Adam Warren ($3.1 million) 3.315 million - +$0.215 million 
Didi Gregorius ($9 million) $8.25 million - $0.75 million "saving"
Dellin Betances ($4.4 million) $5.1 million - +0.7 million
Sonny Gray ($6.6 million) $6.5 million - $100K "savings"
Austin Romine ($1.2 million) $1.1 million - $100K "savings"
Aaron Hicks ($2.9 million) $2.85 million - $500K "savings"
Tommy Kahnle ($1.3 million) $1.3125 million - +$0.125 million
Chasen Shreve ($900K) $0.825 million - $0.075 million "savings"

Alright, so the Yankees had five players who made less than what MLB Trade Rumors predicted and three that made more than what MLBTR predicted for a total of $29.2525 million. MLB Trade Rumors predicted the Yankees spending $29.4 million which means the Yankees beat that number by $0.1475 million, I would say that is "winning." 

The Yankees didn't go over the $30 million the team had allotted for arbitration this season and now have roughly $22 million to work with this season. Now keep in mind this includes any call ups throughout the season, any additions at the July 31st trade deadline, and potentially up to $2 million in incentives for left-hander CC Sabathia leaving the Yankees very little wiggle room in the grand scheme of things. Does this leave enough room for Yu Darvish? Probably not. Does it leave enough room for Mike Moustakas on a one-year pillow contract? I mean, maybe... but it isn't likely. Does this leave enough room to, barring a Jacoby Ellsbury or David Robertson type trade to clear space, add a veteran at third base like Eduardo Nunez and maybe another lesser starting pitcher or reliever to call it an offseason? Yes, that seems the most likely option right now. 

Damn you austerity, and damn you slow offseason. DO SOMETHING!

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