New MLB/MLBPA CBA: Implications for the New York Yankees

MLB and MLBPA have a new CBA. There will be no lockout. Hooray!

There were several notable changes in the new CBA. How do they effect the Yankees?

Luxury Tax: $195m in 2017, up to $210m over 5 years; Much higher luxury tax at very high levels (unspecified)

This hurts the Yankees. In the short term, they will be able to add a little more payroll than a team trying to get under $189m again. How doable is $195m this year?

The Yankees currently have somewhere in the neighborhood of $172m committed to the roster for next year at the moment. If they sign Aroldis Chapman for the rumored 5-year, $90m contract, they are already up to $190m. My guess is it would take a trade of one of Tanaka, Gardner, or Headley to get them down below.

However, it's definitely doable in 2018. The Yankees currently have just $95m committed to the 2018 roster, and the pre-2018 free agent class lacks big spending targets. Even if the Yankees drop $50m per year on some combination of Rich Hill, Aroldis Chapman, and Luis Valbuena, they can easily clear $197 once CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez come off the books.

In the long term, the Yankees won't have the option of going to a Dodgers-style $300m+ payroll without paying a much larger penalty than the old system. We may have to settle for only two of Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado.

Qualifying Offers: No More Draft First Round Pick Penalty

I'll let MLB Trade Rumors do the explaining here:

First-round picks will no longer be sacrificed in signings of QO-declining players, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets. These changes will not apply until the following offseason, Morosi notes on Twitter.

All teams will stand to sacrifice draft picks if they sign players who declined qualifying offers, Stark tweets, but at varying levels. Organizations that are over the luxury tax line will punt a second and a fifth-round choice, while those who are under the threshold would stand to sacrifice a third-rounder.

This is a big win for any team that plans to sign a lot of free agents, like the Yankees. They can sign the mid-tier type (think Kenley Jansen or Justin Turner, although this doesn't kick in until next season) free agents at a much lower cost. They'll be at a slight disadvantage if over the luxury tax against their nearly-as-high spending competitors, but 2nd round picks are much less important than first round picks. Great news.

No International Draft; Hard-Capped IFA Spending

The Yankees contributed to breaking the IFA system by signing 10 of the top 30 players two periods ago. There will be no international draft, but teams will be limited to a hard cap in signing bonus money. The Yankees would obviously prefer to go back to unlimited spending, but that isn't happening. A draft would have been both a fiasco and unfair to the players, so I think this is positive for baseball, and mostly neutral for the Yankees.