Cashman: Yankees roster could be set

Though he emphasizes that the Yankees are “still looking,” general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that the Yankees’ roster may indeed be finalized at the moment, and could well head to Tampa without any additions. “We’re open for business, but we’re not going to do something just to do something,” Cashman said. “If we have to, we’ll go to Tampa with what we’ve got.”

Though it’s likely about positioning himself in negotiations as much as a serious willingness to round out the active roster with currently available options, let’s consider the possibility that this actually happens for a second. Looking at guys likely to make the active roster already here, the Yankees have 22 spots committed (21 if you don’t count Eduardo Nunez) and spots left for a fourth outfielder, backup corner infielder, and a designated hitter. The first two spots could be filled by Matt Diaz/Russ Canzler and, I guess, David Adams, but the lack of a DH could be a real problem for a lineup that’s already lost production from last year’s roster. Alex Rodriguez‘s return should hopefully help them fill that spot with either A-Rod or Kevin Youkilis, but that still creates major questions for the better part of four months.

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.

12 thoughts on “Cashman: Yankees roster could be set

  1. Sam G

    I'd really like for us to have Pirela instead of nix, Mustelier instead of Nunez, Joseph to fill Chavez LHB off bench or backup with romine catching. Then Diaz or Thomas neal to be RHH OF. I prefer Neal because his splits vLHP is .316 vRHP .296 and has shown alot of power and is a solid OF. With Canzler or Someone A's our DH.

  2. uyf1950

    I have to say in my opinion this has been one of the least inspiring off-seasons / pre-seasons for the Yankees from my perspective that I can remember in a very long time. I think fortunately for the Yankees the only team in their division that really has made a marked move to improve is the Jays.

    • jay_robertson

      Agreed that the Jays were the only ones to improve greatly; but I'd think the Os and Rays pretty much stayed pat while the Yankees took a pretty hefty step backward.

      I've been unhappy with the lack of production from Jones, Martin, and Swisher at various times – and even Alex. Its hard to view the replacements as even lateral steps – Swish for Ichiro, Martin for Cervelli, Youk for Alex? Plus, while the bullpen is decent, I think going from Soriano to any of our motley crew not names Rivera has to be a step backward. (At best, Mo will come back in his old form, and if we're lucky, get as many saves as RaSo did in 2012.)

      Our pitching better be SF Giants lights out, or its going to be a long season.

  3. chiggie

    They better get ready for the boo birds.

  4. uyf1950

    I'm at a loss to figure exactly how the Yankees can get to the $189MM Luxury Tax threshold in 2014 when I look at the numbers and field a championship caliber team. Here is what I get as a quick breakdown and while the bottom line number keeps the Yankees under the tax threshold is this really the type roster the Yankees want to go to war with in 2014:
    Guaranteed Salaries for 2014 based on MLB AAV calculation:
    A-Rod…$27.5MM +/-
    CC…….$24.4MM +/-
    Tex……$22.5MM +/-
    Ichiro…$ 6.5MM +/-
    Jeter….$14.3MM +/- if he exercises his player option

    Equals: $95.2MM +/-

    Add in:
    MLB charge for benefits: $10MM +/-
    Amount for players on 40 man roster but not on active 25 man roster: $4MM +/-
    Allowance for A-Rod reaching milestone incentive tying Mays HR total: $6MM

    New Sub-Total: $115.2MM +/-

    Remaining players need to be signed or added to roster:
    4 starting pitchers:
    ….Hughes (type pitcher): $10 to $12MM +/-
    ….Pineda: $650K
    ….Nova: $1.6MM +/-
    ….Phelps of comparable prospect: $650K

    New Sub-Total for 10 players plus misc. charges: $129MM +/-

    Remaining regulars that need to be signed or re-signed:
    2nd baseman: $22MM (assumes Cano re-signing)
    Catcher: $500K (assumes a prospect or pre-arb player)
    LF: Brett Gardner: $6MM (3rd and final year of arbitration)
    CF: Assumes a prospect: $500K (TBD)

    New Sub-Total for 14 players plus misc. charges: $158MM +/-

    Bullpen:
    ….Robertson $6MM Closer (3rd and final year of arbitration)
    ….Joba $4MM Set-up (F/A)
    ….5 remaining relief pitchers: $7MM +/-

    New Sub-Total for 21 players plus misc. charges: $175MM +/-

    Bench/Role Players
    ….4 remaining players to complete 25 man roster: $10MM +/-

    Final total calculation: $185MM +/- ($4MM under the luxury tax threshold)

    There is virtually no fluff in the numbers I've presented. The ONLY wiggle room is the re-signing of Cano, the dollars for the Hughes (type) pitcher. But I really don't see those dollars as wiggle room.

    • mcmastro

      The Yankees need to hope that Mark Montgomery can show this year that he is on track for the 2014 bullpen so that it is one less arm to worry about (and he could hopefully force them to rethink giving money to Joba). It's also possible that a couple of those bench players come from guys like Nunez who don't eat up too much salary. I can see them being able to shave $6M off that list, so yeah, you were pretty spot on with you're numbers.

    • OldYanksFan

      I don't know about H&H, but I don't think ANYONE here expects them to field a contending team that meets the $189 budget.

  5. jay_robertson

    I've seen a few times in the last couple of weeks that Alex's "milestone" bonuses are excluded from luxury tax calculations. I know – I've also read that it is included – but if the new interpretation is correct, that does give the team an extra $6 mil to play with.

    • uyf1950

      From everything I read the team gets charge for the milestone incentive in the year the player achieves the milestone. I do NOT believe it's excluded from the calculation nor is it pro-rated over the length of the contract.

  6. Pete

    I agree. The timing is terrible because of existing contracts and state of farm system. I could empathize if the organization was in financial trouble but they are not. I don't think it is fair to the fans, many of whom were bounced from field level in the old Stadium to third and fourth tier, to cut back on payroll while making huge profits (including Yes transactions) and while continuing to charge top prices.

  7. Mister D

    It is a damning statement about the foolishness of earlier contracts if they cannot field a competitive team for $189m. Even after the spending sprees of other teams we should still have the second highest payroll by a considerable margin.

  8. uyf1950

    I think fans are confusing "competitive" with "championship" caliber team. The Yankees will in my opinion certainly be competitive. Whether or not they can field a "championship" caliber team in 2014/2016 is another matter. With the Luxury Tax at $189MM and a team only effectively having $175MM available to them when you consider a team has to allocate about $14 or 15MM off the top for benefits and the 15 players on the 40 man roster it presents a problem. Especially when you consider the Yankees will have approximately $100MM of that $175MM tied up in just 4 or so players (A-Rod, Tex, CC and probably Cano). And that doesn't include Jeter going forward. As we all know the balance of $75MM doesn't get a team a lot in today's baseball market. Consider the Red Sox signing of Victorino at $13MM per year.
    This is just my opinion but personally I'm against the Yankees offering anyone and I do mean anyone a guaranteed contract of more then 6 years when that player is or will be 30 years old in the 1st year of that contract.

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