I think that no matter what, we’re going to see Sabathia opt out of his contract. The Times piece has no details on what that contract would look like, but I imagine that it will include at least one extra year and a million extra bucks to make the contract a five year deal with an AAV of $24M. If that’s the case, what does it do to the payroll? Let’s use Eric’s piece from Tuesday as a guide.
Believe it or not, I actually wrote a similar piece to post yesterday morning, but Eric scooped me a bit. So, I’ll borrow from that piece for the following information. If we include the options on Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, and Rafael Soriano as well as the buyout for Damaso Marte and the projected arbitration raises, the Yankees would have a payroll of $156.9250. We’ll use the 2011 payroll ($207.047964M) as a guide, too, so before CC, the Yankees would have a little more than $50M to play around with. The Sabathia contract would bring that number down to a little over $26M to spend (payroll with Sabathia: $180.9250M.
What, then, could they do with that remaining $26.123M? Ideally, they add another pitcher. Whether that pitcher is Yu Darvish, C.J. Wilson, Roy Oswalt, Mark Buherle, or whoever, it will likely take at least half of that $26M and change. So, after two pitchers, we’d be left with $13.0615M. Here, we’ll probably see the Yankees make those little necessary moves, like adding bench help (read: bringing back Andruw Jones) and adding another starter for depth. If Jones is back, I think he’s earned a raise. Let’s say he gets a raise of $1M to bring his salary up to $2.5M. As for the back end starter, I don’t see the Yankees spending more than they did on Freddy Garcia this past year–$1.5M. So that takes $4M out of the theoretical bank and leaves us with $9.0615M, still a bit short of last year’s mark.
We have to assume that a chunk of that money will go to the slight raises for the pre-arb players like Jesus Montero, Ramiro Pena, Eduardo Nunez, Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi, Brandon Laird, etc. What I’ve laid out is a bit simplistic, but it seems that the Yankees could accomplish their biggest goals of the offseason–bringing back CC Sabathia and adding another pitcher–and still manage to cut a bit off the payroll. They also might have a few million in their pockets at the trade deadline to get them over the top (if it’s needed).
Anyway, this post went way off from where it started, but we can’t have a CC discussion or a payroll discussion without having the other. So, in the comments, discuss both things: How far would you be willing to go for CC? How far would you be willing to stretch the payroll. Comment it up.