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.

19 thoughts on “Hal talks budget

  1. Fuck 2014. If the Yankees don't 'resert the clock', aside from the HUGE amount they will save in 2014, as the Tax continues to go up, it will impede the Yankees every year from 2104 on.

    Aside from the money it costs the Yankees, that money goes to other teams, some of whom may be competitors for the PS.

    So in 2014, we see some kids and maybe we get lucky. If not, they will be set to spend lots of money for 2015 and beyond.

    • I actually kinda like the move. The Red Sox are doing the same thing, and I think it's incredibly smart. A 50% dollar-for-dollar tax is pretty huge. If they can get below it even once, they'll reset the clock. That's huge for the short term health of the club–even one as rich as the Yankees. Hal is right. If the farm system is as fruitful as it looks like it will be, they shouldn't have to spend $220M on players.

      Lastly, I heard this somewhere, and maybe it was Hal… If you can't win with a $189M payroll, that's on the GM. I agree with this to a great extent. Obviously, extenuating circumstances come in to play, but it's frequently true.

  2. You and me both, he never overly sweated about the budget!! I hope his offspring don't make this team cheap looking.

    • Except GMS never faced a 50% tax head-on, nor was faced with the opportunity of reducing that tax to 17% if he got the payroll under a certain amount for ONE year.

      • Exactly – plus – even if they have to "blow up" the team for one year – and end up not making the playoffs for a year – they will have all that saved money, plus the lowered luxury tax bite down the road. Cashman will just have to "earn" his money and come up with a winner with the lowest highest payroll in baseball – with the reward of being able to buy any toy he wants for the next four years.

  3. Those 'what ifs' definitely squash those goals (or worse force us into weak replacements).. but 'on paper', I'm optimistic about what this roster can do this and next year.

  4. I don't at all miss George. He was an egocentric, dishonest, intemperate and unwise man whose kneejerk, authoritarian management style damaged the club as much as his money benefited it.

    Nice article though and interesting last question. I tend to think that if they seriously want to get under the cap in two years they'll probably do it come what may since I gather the financial benefits of doing so, in terms of luxury tax payments, would be measured in the tens of millions over the subsequent few years. If that is their motivation, If going over $189m by two million becomes a twenty million (or more) cost, then you'd have to think that was a poor decision financially from someone being quoted as describing themselves as a finance geek. Not my thing and not necessarily the way I'd do it. But think it may be the way it goes…

  5. It really will not be that difficult to get down to 189 million. Currently they are at about 205 million with about 40 million coming off the books this year (swisher 10, Kuroda, 10, MO 15 Garcia 4). If Soriano opts out it could be almost 50. Even if you add in raises and some smart free agent moves or trades, The Yankees should easily get under that number…

    • You have to tack benefits and ancillary stuff in there as well, which actually pushes their opening day payroll closer to $225 million.

      • Point taken but even still, they should be able to get under 189 million with 40 maybe even 50 million coming off this year. Whether they get there in 2013 or 2014 depends on Martin wants and if Romine is ready, whether they keep Gardner, and whether Hughes figures it out.

  6. Well with Valentine about to blow up the Red Sux , it might not take an oldtimey George team to get into the playoffs and then it comes down to pitching and three run home runs as some wise guy once said .

  7. The Yanks are going to have to make some real hard choices with their position players. I think their pitching is actually setup nicely for this. Yes, they want a lot of guys to develop, but reasonably speaking they have the following starting pitchers who have futures with this team and only one of them is because of contract (Sabbathia). We can assume he either maintains or diminishes his skills due to age, but regardless, let's look at what they have: Pineda, Nova, Hughes, Warren, Phelps, Mitchell, Banuelos, and Betances. Those are the most well known Yankee starting pitchers/prospects that are young and under control. Hughes actually is a free agent after 2013. Now I know starting pitching is fickle, but you have 8 possibilities for four spots (with Sabbathia's guranteed). The chances of 8 of these guys not being able to step up and perform for the Yanks in their careers is better than what they have at their position prospect level.

    There will be huge pressure on Romine to not hold his own in Triple A, but to beat the league soundly and improve his arm accuracy. That might/might not be a lot to ask for if the Yanks want to avoid a Russel Martin long-term deal. The outfield, I would argue, is even more precarious. Sure, the Yanks have all those low-A high ceiling types in Santana, Williams, and Heathcott, but none of them will be as close to ready as Romine potentially could be to come up with the club.

    I write this because do you bring Martin and Swisher back this offseason? Martin will probably command at least $10 a year if he builds off of what he did last year. Swisher will command at least $12 million, unless he has a real bad year. Then you have 2013 offseason, with Cano AND Granderson as free agents. Cano will look for at least a Jeter deal (10 year, $189 million) while Granderson will probably be looking for a $100 million dollar deal at least. That's a lot to ask for without even getting into whether Mo will still be around, though everyone seems to agree in the media that this is his last year.

    This is why stockpiling the young pitchers the Yanks have is critical. Not all of them are going to make it to the rotation, obviously for quality or quantity issues. You have to hope it is quantity issues so the Yankees can then bundle their pitching prospects to get position players if they need them with the $189 million cap.

    • Sorry, last sentence should read: The chances of 8 of these guys BEING able to step up and perform for the Yanks in their careers is better than what they have at their position prospect level.

  8. I agree with Brien's point. How is it possible to get a payroll under 189 if that includes bonuses and benefits and the whole 40 man roster? Their nominal payroll would have to be around 150 for that to happen, which seems impossible considering ARod, CC, Tex, Jeter, and Cano alone will be making about 95 of it.

    • I'm not sure that was my point. If it was *impossible*, we probably wouldn't be hearing about it. After all, they're not talking about trying to get under the tax threshold for next season.

  9. Agree with Hal here. For every Sabathia the yankees always seem to have a few Pavano/Vasquez/Sheffields. If you look at the yankee greats over the past 15 yrs or so, the majority of them have been home grown (Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, Posada, Cano). A good player development program, in conjunction with strategic free agent signings, is the blueprint for sustained excellence.


    • Those examples seem…off the mark to me. Pavano is maybe the best one, but Vasquez was acquired via trade and, had the Yankees not dealt him after one season and he had the same level of performance he had in Chicago/Arizona they would have come out ahead on the original deal, and the problem with Sheffield wasn't the signing itself so much as the fact that George decided he preferred Shef to Vladimir Guerrero. Had they signed Vlad instead I think we'd all look back