This isn’t something we have to worry about right now, but the New York Yankees will find a way to keep both Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson if they really want to.
Ever since Hal Steinbrenner firmly committed to getting down to the $189 million payroll mark in 2014 to avoid paying the luxury tax, speculation has run rampant that the Yankees will have to sacrifice Granderson to keep Cano. Although the Yankees would choose Cano over Granderson if they were forced to make a choice, I don’t think they will let Granderson go if he continues to put up numbers like he did last season.
The Yankees must pay more than $20 million each to Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira and will likely have to pay $20 million or more per year to sign their superstar second baseman. That’s well above $80 million committed to four players so it will definitely be a challenge. But while I do believe Steinbrenner sincerely wants to get below that penalty threshold, I don’t think it’s going to force his hand in terms of letting Granderson walk. For one, the Yankees will be very creative when structuring the players’ contracts, using every available loophole to reach an agreement that both sides can live with. And from Granderson’s perspective, I doubt he is going to walk because no team is going to pay him more than the Yankees.
So barring an unforeseen decline or a horrific injury, I fully anticipate both Cano and Granderson to remain in pinstripes for many years. The Yankees have plenty of time to figure out how to keep them both.