Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lee's rejection saves the Yankees some cash

Looks like being rejected by Cliff Lee may have an upside for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees will only have to send $18 million to Major League Baseball this year for exceeding the luxury tax threshold, $10 million less than they did last year when they won the World Series. That bill would have bounced right back up next year if Lee had taken the $23 million or more the Yankees were throwing at him to pitch in pinstripes. But now with Lee of the table, Derek Jeter taking a pay cut and pricey contracts for underachieving players such as Javier Vazquez coming off the books, the chances of that bill dropping even more in 2011 are better.

Maybe this means that Hal Steinbrenner is really serious about reining in the wild spending ways of his father George and even his brother Hank (who is generally blamed for the ridiculous Alex Rodriguez contract). To be sure, the Yankees so-called budget may look reasonable compared to previous years, but it’s still excessive in contrast to most of the rest of baseball. Several current Yankees are due substantial pay raises, most notably 18-game winner Phil Hughes (if Brian Cashman is smart, he’ll try to lock the youngster into a sensible contract and buy out the rest of his arbitration-eligible years right now). And it’s still possible the Yankees will react (or overreact) to losing Lee by trading for some expensive veteran that another team is looking to unload, which could send their tax bill soaring again.

The Yankees will probably always spend more than other teams simply because they have more money to spend. But if the plan is to use those dollars more wisely, I'm all in favor.

No comments:

Post a Comment