About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

26 thoughts on “The Yankees are broke!

  1. Or maybe Cashman WAS planning on upgrading the pitching until Trost, Levine, and the Steinbrenners told him he couldn't.

    As is, the rotation could be very good. It also could be very bad. Barring injury, Sabathia is a true ace, and I'm happy to have Burnett and Garcia (aside from Burnett's salary) as the number four and five starters. But are Nova and Hughes capable of being #2 and #3? In theory, maybe, but I wouldn't pin my playoff hopes on them.

    • I would assume Cashman knew what his budget was by their organizational meetings at the latest.

  2. Or he's just blowing smoke…not saying he is, but when there are decent #3 starters still available the Yankees need to go get them. George would never have allowed something like this to happen. RIP

  3. ~George’s model IS what allowed the spending spree to be what the payroll has become. Cashman et al are bringing it down, starting now.

    ~Cashman has been building the farm since 2005, let it be allowed to work.

    ~The Excessive Asking Prices for players the Yankees want to trade for, is criminal.

    • A) Not that I really glom on to the "George would have…" meme, but he didn't sign the A-Rod contract.

      B.) I'm going to get around to writing an actual post on this, but in so much as none of "the kids" factor into the Opening Day rotation, they have nothing to do with the merits of a one year deal for another starter.

      C.) Just because the Yankees aren't willing to pay the price doesn't make it excessive.

      • Re: C. Surely the fact that the Yankees aren't willing to pay a price would be the very definition of an excessive one – at least historically! I get where Ace is coming from. Up til now, there has tended to be a perception that the Yankees would pay over the odds (cf. ARod) and that one might, as a selling club/ player get more from them than from some others. That was especially true under the Boss and especially after >three years without a championship. I know it didn't always follow – that not all FA deals were too generous or trades unbalanced (especially the latter) – but it's not unreasonable to say that that's been a perception. If they want to change that perception, as it seems may be the case, it is necessarily going to take a while before everyone else gets used to the idea and adjusts their trade/ salary expectations accordingly if at all.

        Not saying the money's not there, Brien, just like it is at a lot of other clubs, judging by the amount the Rangers could throw at Yu. Nor am I saying that this might not be a big smokescreen for something else. But I did quite like Ace's point!

  4. Please lighten up! Let's really see what the kids can contribute – it is kind of nice to not have to justify to other fans about the excessive Yankee payroll!

  5. This is just such an indefensible position (if true) after pissing away 3 yrs $35 million on Soriano (no matter how good he might do in years 2 and 3). Soriano over 3 years would be lucky to match the WAR that Kuroda could provide them as a decent #2 over 1 year.

  6. I think this new austerity might be explainable in the context of a discussion of the Luxury Tax under the new CBA. Given the fact that the tax will be 50% (of payroll over the threshhold) for teams who have been over threshold for three years, you could see Steinbrenner, Levine & Co. shooting to reset the clock (and qualifying them for a lower rate when they subsequently go over again) by getting payroll under $189M by 2014.


    • This makes sense if you're saying not to go after CJ Wilson or Yu Darvish.

      But Kuroda would be a 1 yr $12 million deal (maybe with an option for a 2nd). So that would be 2012 and maybe 2013 at the most. Leaving them free to cut ties with him and when he's 38 next year or 39 in 2013… no effect on the $189 million magic # for 2014.

      • Good point.

        I suppose the only counter is that they might be trying to manage expectations with agents after setting the market for so long. That doesn't make much sense on the surface though seeing how it's not just the Yankees and Red Sox spending top dollar on players any more.

        Do they know something about Kuroda that we don't (e.g., injury risk)?

      • Good point, to a point. This from ESPN.com:

        "Under the new labor contract, the Yankees' rate would increase to 42.5 percent next year and 50 percent in 2013 if they continue to exceed the threshold, and Boston's rate would go up to 40 percent next season.

        But if in any year a team goes under the threshold, its rate decreases to 17.5 percent the next time it pays the tax.

        As an added incentive for the high-spenders to decrease payroll, if they get under the threshold they will become eligible to get back some of the money they contribute in revenue sharing. The tax threshold stays at $178 million through 2013, then goes to $189 million in each of the following three years."

        I don't know where exactly they are in commitments for 2012, but my guess is Kuroda's salary will be subject to the full 42.5% tax for next year and the full 50% the following year. So Kuroda's real cost would be closer to $17M.

        No sarcasm intended– do you think he's a $17M a year pitcher?

        • Do I think he's a $17 million a year pitcher? No, not really. Do I think he's a $12 million pitcher? Yes. The difference between those two numbers is a factor of the rest of the Yankees payroll, a number which includes a lot of mistakes, all things considering. The question is whether you let those mistakes hold you back now. If you have the money AND you want to win baseball games above all else, you simply do not do that.

          • Well taken.

            While I agree that the Yankees don't need to let past mistakes dictate present decisions, I understand their reluctance to effectively spend $17M on a pitcher who while very effective since coming over from Japan has had some injuries (2009) and will be 37 to start the season. Or should I say I'd understand a team's reluctance to commit that kind of money for that type of player. Of course the Yankees aren't your typical team in that regard.

            Then again, it's not as if Cashman has shown reluctance in the past to negotiate in the media.

          • Or… Cashman's reluctance to sign a career NL pitcher who mainly pitched in pitcher- friendly park? This may not be a big factor, but it certainly aggravates it

          • That would make a lot more sense if the Yankees hadn't been reported as having interest in him at multiple points prior.

        • I also don't think ARod is a $45 mil, $54 mil if he hits a HR bonus, either. I think that could be the source of the Yankees 'financial difficulties'.,,

  7. What this sounds like to me is that management reassessed their strategy in wake of the new CBA and decided they rather not be big players in this market … at least until they see something they really want. I'm not sure it is the right decision, but it is certainly a reasonable point of view to not make drastic changes after winning the AL East when facing looming significant financial incentives.

    It still feels to me that the media and fans really aren't getting told the full story and instead are being feed tidbits to keep everyone guessing.

  8. This is all so frustrating seeing all these cool deals while the Yankees sit and spin. Guess we'll just have to trust that they know what they are doing.

    • And how many of these cool deals are being paid for with Yankee dollars? This new CBA was aimed at screwing kids and screwing the Yankees. Why should the Yankees bother pouring dollars into the coffers of competition that is rewriting the rules to hurt the team?

  9. Serious question guys… wouldn't the payroll have to be significant;y under $189 mill? As far as I know that threshold includes not just the 25 man roster, but the entire 40 man roster PLUS benefits, so wouldn't it need to be around 165 or so in reality (and thus be impossible)?

  10. Well ESPN just reported the 2011 #'s.
    – Yankees salary was calculated to be 212mil (the Cot's opening day was ~207, so the AAV calculation was fairly close to the actual). They paid 13.9mil (40% tax)
    – Boston was the only other team taxed and paid 3.4mil (would have been more without gaming the system on the AGon extension)

    So basically they need to get that down 23mil by 2014….
    – You have whatever raise Cano and presumably Granderson get….(from an AAV perspective this may be more than the simple raise over their recent salaries)
    – Mo comes off the book (15mii) and Soriano and Burnett in 2013 (~28mil) and they could conceivably replace those spots cheaply.
    – if Jeter declines the player option…..(let a man dream)
    – You also have smaller stuff like Garcia and Feliciano coming off the books

    This 189mil might actually be doable. Still have arbitration raises and guys like Hughes and Joba hitting FA, but I always though 189mil was a pipe dream but if they make a hard choice or two and go cheap (Swisher? Martin? No 15+ mil/yr FA starter?)

  11. Don't know if this plays into it at all, but my ticket license renewal for next season showed a large decrease in ticket price. I had the 11 game plan (Plan G) for the past 5 years. Tier Reserved seats were $65 each per game in 2011. The Yankees did away with that plan and converted it to a 9 game "Value Plan." The same seats are now $35 per game. The explanation was that the games are mid-week (always were) and no premium games included. (Always got one Boston game before.) Maybe they want fans to lower their expections for 2012? (Only half-kidding.)

  12. Could it be that wasting all that money on Soriano (against Cash's objections, mind you) is what finally kicked some sense into the brass? I do think that Kuroda (or a healthy Oswalt, but does anyone believe that) is the best fit, especially if they dump AJ (which they should do, no matter how much they have to eat), and I am unconvinced about the Yankees disinterest.