Monday, October 7, 2013

Understanding & Breaking Down The 2014 Payroll

The talk of the 2014 off season for the New York Yankees will center around the 2014 luxury tax thresh hold that the Yankees are trying to get under. The luxury tax is set at $189,000,000 and would provide some nice financial benefits if we were to get under the total all season long including a "reset" on penalties for going over the tax. The Yankees have said that this is the goal but this will not get in the way of a World Series championship and will not keep them from putting the best team on the field but that remains to be seen in my opinion. Before we get too far into this let us take a look at the 40 man roster that we will have the day the World Series ends:

Matt Daley
Cesar Cabral
David Huff

Using the roster above here is a list of the most notable contracts on the books for the 2014 season:

Alex Rodriguez -- $25,000,000 ( AAV hit of $27,500,000)
Vernon Wells -- $21,000,000 (AAV hit of $0)
Mark Teixeira -- 22,500,000 (AAV hit of $22,500,000)
CC Sabathia -- $23,000,000 (AAV hit of 23,250,000)
Alfonso Soriano -- $18,000,000 (AAV hit of $4,000,000)
Ichiro Suzuki -- $6,500,000 (AAV hit of $6,500,000)

Money on the books = $116,000,000 (AAV hit of $83,750,000)

Here is a list of guys that will get a raise, however marginal, via arbitration. Instead of taking another guess at what these players will make I will instead just list their 2013 salaries:

Brett Gardner (3rd time)
2013 salary - $2,850,000

David Robertson (3rd time)
2013 salary - $3,100,000

Shawn Kelley (2nd time)
2013 salary -$935,000

Jayson Nix (2nd time)
2013 salary - $900,000

Ivan Nova (1st time)
2013 salary - $575,600

Michael Pineda (1st time)
2013 salary - $528,475

Francisco Cervelli (1st time)
2013 salary - $515,350

Chris Stewart (1st time)
2013 salary - $515,100

David Huff (1st time)
2013 salary - $494,000

Here is the bare minimum for this list of arbitration eligible players. Keep in mind that I did not take a guess at what they would make so this number WILL go up.

$10,413,525 but expect that to be AT LEAST in the $15,000,000 range when all is said and done. 

There are a few things working for the Yankees this year on the payroll front believe it or not. Here is the most notable things working in the Yankees favor this year:

  • The Yankees paid their final $8,500,000 payment to AJ Burnett for him to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates so that amount automatically comes off the Yankees payroll.

  • The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will pay Vernon Wells $18,600,000 this season to play for the New York Yankees and we are on the hook for $0 this season (AAV wise since his contract was heavily back loaded), thus making him a free player for lack of a better word. The Toronto Blue Jays will pay the rest of his contract by paying us $3,642,857.

  • Alex Rodriguez may be suspended for the entire 2014 season meaning his $25,000,000 will not be on the books for this coming season. His Average Annual Value, or AAV as is used in the new collective bargaining agreement, will be $27,5000,000 worth of credit for the Yankees payroll and luxury tax.

  • The Chicago Cubs will be paying $13,000,000 of Alfonso Soriano's salary to play for the New York Yankees this season keeping us on the hook for $5,000,000. With the back loaded contract that Soriano signed with the Cubs we are only on the hook for $4,000,000 when you use AAV.

Here is a list of the massive amount of dollars coming off the books for the Yankees this season. Granted it looks great to see all these millions coming off the board you have to remember that we also have all these holes to fill:

Hiroki Kuroda $15,000,000
Andy Pettitte $12,000,000
Mariano Rivera $10,000,000
Kevin Youkilis $12,000,000
Curtis Granderson $13,000,000
Robinson Cano $15,000,000
Phil Hughes $7,150,000
Mark Reynolds $6,000,000 (Entire 2013 contract)
Brendan Ryan $3,250,000 (Entire 2013 contract)
Boone Logan $3,150,000
Travis Hafner $2,000,000
Joba Chamberlain $1,875,000
Lyle Overbay $1,250,000
Mike Zagurksi $490,000

Money coming off the books for 2014: $102,015,000

All of this before the potential Robinson Cano mega contract, a qualifying offer to Curtis Granderson worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $14,000,000, and trying to bring back a Hiroki Kuroda with a raise on his $15,000,000 contract from 2013. Derek Jeter also has a $9,500,000 players option that has to be exercised or declined three days after the World Series is over. Keep in mind that we also have to replace our third baseman, second basemen, two starting pitchers, the greatest closer of all time, some bench pieces, and our manager. Obviously a lot of these can and will come from within but still the Yankees have a tough task ahead of them this winter.

The straw that is going to break the camels back in this case is if Derek Jeter comes back for the 2014 season. If Jeter accepts his player option and comes back for $9,500,000 next year his AAV hit would be $15,500,000. If Jeter declines his players option his $9,000,000 will still be on the hook for this years luxury tax PLUS whatever he signed for. I think most people thought it was going to be Robinson Cano and not Derek that kept us from our goal of $189,000,000 but it may be our 39 year old captain.

Will it be tough, sure, but can it be done? I am starting to doubt it honestly the more I decipher the new collective bargaining agreement.


  1. Dropping;
    A-Rod, Jeter, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Kevin Youkilis, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Mark Reynolds, Travis Hafner, Joba Chamberlain, Lyle Overbay, Mike Zagurksi
    Would save about $89,600,000 + $27,500,000 = 117,100,000.
    There are a few on the list we would sure like to have back but...time for a rebuilding year. Bad thing is, I may not see the 28th WS win going this way. Personally, I'd like to go after any and everyone we need!

    Realistically, we need a couple of years to rebuild the right way...YOUNGER and WISER! Anyone think the Yankee base fans will except a rebuild? I think they would, if we have players that can play baseball the exciting/intense way of guys like Brett, "D" Rob, Cisco, Nova and let's put CC in there.

    Let's go back to the old "Billy Ball", use what talent you have the best way one can. Don't wait for something good to won't...go after it and make the other team play perfect baseball to beat you.

    We will still have some power, Zolo may be able to supply some also.
    Let's go for it, use the farm and add a FA here and there

    1. I cannot see the Yankees going full blown rebuild and piss away 2 or 3 years. The red sox "rebuilt" this offseason but still signed who they wanted but they did it smart, that is the way we should rebuild.Can Cashman do that? That's the 189 million dollar question now isnt it.

  2. all we need is a good GM and we could reboot quickly with all the money we can spend. But we dont have a good GM.

    And OldYankee .... forget years of rebuilding..... with smart moves and our money ...... and our anxious fan base that pays huge bucks, we can reboot just like Boston did.

    1. Twasp...
      Why pick on Cashman, he had NO money to work with! You should be upset with Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest, they cut the money tree down.

    2. I agree with oldranger here. Cashman was given no flexibility with payroll except for Ichiro who they thought they could make money off of with the 3000 hits. I dont remember off the top of my head who specifically but I can remember a few reports, pretty sure Torri Hunter being one of them, where Cashman wanted a guy and Hank and Hal would not open up the purse strings.

    3. It was only after injuries to Granderson, Teix, etc that we thought it would be a great idea to go add a guy like Vernon Wells and it was only after YES ratings were down 30% and we were battling for last place before Hank and Hal wanted Soriano.

  3. I would like to see a fiscally responsible reboot that focuses on youth and not handcuffing the team for years to come (Giambi, Johnson, ARod, etc...). No more 7-10 year contracts...even Cano...I could see 6 years at $25 mill for him with a vested option based on performance in Years 4-6...

    1. I love the Red Sox way of doing things. They dont give anyone more than a three year deal and they go young.

    2. Go young.....go less more.....veterans vs kids...... blah...blah....blah.....

      There is no one right answer. Just get a GM that can mix and match the pieces to tne puzzle and build a championship. And if Hal and Hank dont trust him enough to take his advice then dump him.


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