Friday, February 17, 2012

How does the AJ Burnett trade affect the Yankees payroll?

Yeah, I'd try to hide the tears rolling down my cheeks if I found out I was going from the Yankees to the Pirates too.

Ever since the rumor of trading AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh started I wondered how the money exchanged would affect the Yankees' payroll, in terms of the MLB Luxury Tax.

Would the money that Pittsburgh would be on the hook for (now we know it will be $13 million) be subtracted from what's left on the contract (leaving $20 million), and the difference would be split among the last two years of the Burnett's deal (which would mean the Yankees would take a hit of $10 million in 2012 and 2013)? As I originally thought.

Or maybe the Yankees would be hit with all the money left on the deal in 2012 ($20 million)? Then again, since this seems to be all about freeing up money to sign a part-time DH and back-up IF, a highly doubt that. Otherwise the Yankees would be looking at having to pay an extra $3.5 million this season, instead of saving money.

Well I think I found it thanks to, who I've used before for information regarding the way the MLB Luxury Tax affects things.
Payroll figures are for 40-man rosters and include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions, such as money included in trades.
Well, it turns out that the Pirates will be paying Burnett $5 million in 2012, and $8 million in 2013, per the terms of the trade. So according to the quote above, that means the Yankees will take a hit of $11.5 million in 2012, and $8.5 million in 2013, as that will be how the money is given to Pittsburgh.

This means the Yankees will only have an extra $5 million to "play with" this off-season, as opposed to the $6.5 million I originally thought, which still seems like enough to get Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez. But the team has also freed up a little bit more money than I thought for the next off-season. Not that the extra $1.5 million will be enough to sign Cole Hamels, but both Eric Chavez and Freddy Garcia made $1.5 million last season, so that money can come in handy.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Yankees

Welcome To The Most Competitive Division In Baseball

Over on my favorite sports forum, DailySportsPages, we had the users there vote on many things pertaining to the 2012 team like who is most likely to be our MVP, our Cy Young winner, etc. The results are in. 

First we asked who would be the BOUNCEBACK Player Of The Year and the winner was Alex Rodriguez. Most of the users voting for AROD mentioned the knee procedure that he had in Germany that was referred to him by Kobe Bryant. I personally voted for Phil Hughes here because I thought pride would really light a fire under him. Mark Teixeira also got votes, which I can understand.

Second we asked the users who would be the SLEEPER pick for us in 2012 and the votes are in. Phil Hughes won here due to reports that he came into camp in shape and looking good. Not many people are expecting much out of him either with the Kuroda and Pineda transactions so I could see him being a sleeper. I personally voted Brett Gardner here, as did others, because I think he finally puts it all together in the field, at the plate, and on the base paths (green light him Girardi... do it now). Rafael Soriano and even Hiroki Kuroda got a vote here (albeit by a Dodgers fan) so optimism is reigning supreme in Yankees land.

The best bullpen arm came up next as we did not want to limit it to anything short of that and the results were mixed, which is not surprising seeing as deep as our bullpen is. Obviously we all know that Mariano Rivera won this, which should catch no one by surprise, but it was not as close as you would think. Many people wondered how, if possible, David Robertson could improve on his 2011 season. Many of those same people even picked him to regress in 2012, which even if he did a little would still make him the best set up man in all of baseball. I personally voted for Rafael Soriano because I know that he wants to close, if he didn't then he would have not signed a deal loaded with opt out clauses. The only way that Soriano is a closer is if he kills it in the Yankees pen, opts out, and signs a lucrative deal with another team next off season. I was in the minority here as the only one to vote for him. 

On to the good ones, we will start with the Cy Young. Ok, so maybe the build up was not worth it as CC Sabathia ran away with it. One person did vote for Michael Pineda though, which I found interesting. This user stated that he thought with the "Verducci" effect under his belt with a full year over and the help of pitching coach Larry Rothschild to help with his changeup will result in huge strides for Michael this season. Interesting.. but come on... It is CC Sabathia.

Finally, the moment we have all waited for, the Yankees 2012 MVP. Is it Cano? Is It Nick Swisher? Is it Derek Jeter? No... It is Alex Rodriguez. How bold of a prediction is this Yankees fans? Robinson Cano , as stated on the site, is the best hitter on the team but Alex Rodriguez and the magical procedure that will elongate his career has won him this one. Derek Jeter also got a few votes which I find ironic. Jeter has never won an MVP award, although he deserved to, so I do not see how someone can think he can win one this season.

That is our list.... What is yours?

Countdown To Pitchers & Catchers

I really hate the fact that when I used google to search for the above picture I simply typed in "Derek Jeter" and was bombarded with pages upon pages of beautiful women that he has put the bone to that I will never get to... namely Jessica Beil. Hey... what are you going to do right? Hit .300 and bring me another ring and Ill forgive you Jete.

Oh yeah, and there are 2 more days until Spring Training begins down at George Steinbrenner field in Tampa FL. Hideki Okajima will NOT be joining us , as he failed his physical. This really opens the door for Mike O'Connor, Cesar Cabral, and Brad Meyers to make the team as the 2nd left handed option out of Joe Girardi's pen to compliment Boone Logan.

Burnett to Pittsburgh

Well it's pretty much official. "Pretty much" since the commissioner's office has to give their stamp of approval to any deal where the teams are exchanging money, not to mention that neither the Pirates nor the Yankees have announced that they've agreed to a deal.

However, Ken Rosenthal has announced that the teams have agreed to a deal, in which Pittsburgh will give the Yankees two low-level minor leaguers, and will be on the hook for $13 million of the $33 million left on Burnett's contract.

Sounds like a great deal to me, as I would have been okay with the Yankees just giving Burnett away. Okay, not really, but you get the point. If the Pirates had only been responsible for $10 million, then that would have freed up enough money for the Yankees to sign Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez, without having to expand the payroll. This way the team will actually save money even after signing a DH and IF.

EDIT: I read on Twitter, from Joel Sherman, that one of the minor leaguers is Diego Moreno. Nice strikeout rate.

EDIT 2:48pm: Jonathan Mayo is reporting that the 2nd prospect the Yankees will be receiving is Exicardo Cayones, a 21 year-old OFer (mainly LF) that doesn't excite me at all.