Much digital ink has been spilled about the Yankees’ 2014 payroll, and their possible goal of getting below the $189 million luxury tax threshold to greatly reduce their luxury tax and revenue sharing obligations. In order to get their payroll below that threshold for 2011, the Yankees would likely have to employ some measure of austerity (for the Yankees, at least). This may explain why we have not seen them be very active on the market this offseason, and may lead them to curtail future expenditures.
Because we know that the Yankees are perpetually in “win-now” mode, austerity and rebuilding are not really in the Yankees’ repertoire. When Joel Sherman reported on the potential restrictions in 2014, people around the blogosphere wondered whether backloading existing contracts would provide a solution, by lowering the amount that the Yankees owed in 2014 and paying more at another time. However, since payroll for luxury tax purposes is calculated by the average annual value of the existing contracts, front or back-loading would have no effect.… Click here to read the rest