Anticipating Questions About The Yankee Budget

When the Yankees signed Chan-Ho Park this morning, those that were cynical about the Yankees budget took the opportunity to declare the budget a sham. As Joel Sherman explains, this is simply not the case:

Essentially, the Yankees had $2 million remaining in their budget when Randy Winn was signed for a $1.1 million. But as Park’s price kept falling, Yankees GM Brian Cashman continued to lobby ownership to expand the payroll because the organization viewed Park as one of the top relievers on the market.

And when the price fell further over the course of the week, from $1.5 million to $1.2 million, Yankees ownership finally approved the signing…..

This signing likely puts even more pressure on Cashman, however, to trade either Chad Gaudin ($2.95 million) or Sergio Mitre ($850,000) to bring down the payroll more to ownership’s liking.

Basically, Sherman explains that the Park signing took place in the context of a budget, such that Cashman needed to appeal to ownership to exceed it by $300,000 (the amount the Park signing exceeded the money left over after Winn). If Marcus Thames makes the club over Jamie Hoffmann, that will put the Yankees another 500K over budget. As such, Sherman notes that Cashman may be forced to trade Sergio Mitre or Chad Gaudin to bring the budget back into line, with Mitre’s $850,000 being enough to bring the Yankees back in line with their stated goal. It is quite clear from this situation that the Yankee budget is in fact real, as the GM was required to get approval to exceed the budget by less than 1 million dollars, and may be pushed by ownership to lose a contract so as to keep salaries in line.

Furthermore, just to nip this issue in the bud, I have seen some people questioning the budget by stating that the Yankees will show the budget to be a farce if they need to acquire an expensive player in mid-season. This ignores the fact that the Opening Day budget is almost certainly different than the overall season budget. Most clubs leave themselves a cushion so that they can operate to improve their team in-season if the opportunity and necessity arose, and the Yankees are likely no different. The Yankees have left themselves some leeway to add to the club during the season. The only question is, how much room have they left themselves, and how important must a player be for them to consider moving past the lines they have drawn? No matter what the answers to those questions are, one thing is becoming exceedingly clear: the Yankees have a budget, and they plan to be fairly strict about it.

0 thoughts on “Anticipating Questions About The Yankee Budget

  1. Good post, Mo. The Yankees’ overall payroll at the end of the season over the past 2 years has been extremely high. They’re in a position now where they’ll probably end the year with their lowest overall payroll in quite some time (and that’s even if they acquire complimentary pieces throughout the year).

  2. Steve S.

    Andrew Marchand of 1050 ESPN-radio quoted Cashman today, saying that whoever from the Park-Gaudin-Mitre group that doesn’t make the team would be an end of ST trade candidate. As far as the people who don’t believe the Yanks budget exists, I offer this quote from the Damon press conference:

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/pinstripes-to-tiger-stripes-for-damon/#more-21513

    The Yankees had talked of making Damon a one-year, $6 million proposal, with half of it deferred. Damon seemed unlikely to take that offer, anyway, but Steinbrenner told him he could not even do that much. “When I had a conversation with Hal, it was short and quick,” Damon said. “He said, ‘We can’t do anything.’ I said: ‘Thank you very much. I had a great time playing for you. It’s time for both sides to move on.’ ””

  3. I’m sure I’m in the minority of Yankee fans that wish for a budget, as I think it promotes better a better allocation of resources and a more focused look toward the future. The question, as you stated, is more about how much of a gap exists from the absolute yearly budget and the opening day budget. I’d assume the gap would be fairly small; all of this chatter for mere posturing in July would be rather silly, and would likely only set up another disadvantage in future negotiations. It has to mean something.

  4. leftylarry

    Not only does the budget exist but Pettite, Posada and Mariano’s salaries won’t be replaced when they’re gone.
    Bet on it.
    Doesn’t mean they won’t go over budget to win a championship with a late move, just overall looking to reduce salary and players and Agents need to understand that fact.

  5. Rob in CT

    If the end result of this is losing Gaudin so they can have Park, I’m going to be (mildly) annoyed.