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Despite all the cost-cutting, the Yankees are likely to exceed the luxury tax threshold next year

Apr 26, 2013, 8:53 AM EDT

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Jeff Passan reports why the Yankees — whose decision to not sign any significant long-term deals this past offseason despite multiple on-field needs was chalked up to a desire to get under next-year’s $189 million luxury tax threshold — are likely to exceed said threshold nonetheless:

In recent months, the Yankees have become far less bullish on their publicly stated austerity plan, admitting to other executives and agents that staying beneath the $189 million threshold is unlikely and impractical.

“They’re going to be over 189,” one source familiar with the Yankees’ plans said. “They know it. Everyone knows it. You can’t run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars.”

Passan explains why the particular rules of the luxury tax and the revenue sharing system make Plan-$189 million both impractical and, perhaps, less desirable to the Yankees than it once was.

Now, if only there were some good young blue chip free agents to go blow a chunk of change on.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Their disabled list might exceeed the luxury tax threshold.

  2. sdelmonte - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    At the same time, the horde of castoffs and refugees making up the batting lineup is playing well. If the objective is to compete, Cashman is succeeding.

    But that said, it would be ironic indeed if they still have to swallow that big luxury tax pill.

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    It could be worse, you could spend some money like the bluejays did (finally) and basically end up with a worse team than you had the year before. Hows that for a kick in the pants?

    • Old Gator - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      You can hardly be said to have “ended up” with anything with a week of April yet to play.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        I think you missed the point. harry wants a kick in the pants.

    • kevinbnyc - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      I could definitely be worse. You could be the 2012-2013 Marlins.

  4. unclemosesgreen - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Most expensive team in history. Yesterday they started 1 1/2 – 2 actual baseball players in the field, depending on your rating of Brett Gardner. You could also get to 2 by counting Ichiro as 1/2 a player.

    Aside from Robbie Cano, there are no players running out there that would be a lock to start for most teams.


    • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      They better sign an extension of Boesch ASAP!


  5. randygnyc - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Hallelujah. I was screaming that they should’ve traded and spent money on Justin upton. Damn

  6. Ben - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I never really understood the economics of the Yankees’ luxury tax austerity. If I remember right, if all went according to plan they’d save something like 50 million dollars over the course of a couple years. In the first place, that’s chump change for the Yankees. And wouldn’t they be better off ignoring the luxury tax and trying to make the playoffs, because teams that reach the playoffs see revenue spikes? I’d imagine that spike would be close 50 million.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Their stats guys missed a line on their Excel spreadsheet, and their conclusion worked based on the numbers used.

  7. randygnyc - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Sign Boesch? Hell, he won’t even be on the team after they get tex and Granderson back.

  8. Old Gator - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    I’m hoping that they will find a way to stay below the threshold. I’m hoping that Arte Moreno and Mike Illich and Magic Johnson and co. will do the same eventually. In other words, I’m hoping that they find some way to starve Scrooge McLoria, who is getting fat on their excesses and biddledebiddlebiddledeeing them over it, out of the league within my lifetime.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Luxury tax is not the same thing as revenue sharing. The only way they’re going to starve out Loria is if they put spending floors as a condition of receiving revenue sharing in, and that’s not going to happen without either a much stiffer luxury tax or some sort of cap.

  9. APBA Guy - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I think their goal was to get under the threshold next year. This year the goal was to put themselves in a position to get under the cap next year, and to prepare to clear enough salary to take on Cano’s FA deal.

  10. genericcommenter - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Yeah, this doesn’t make sense. If they weren’t committed to the “under 189 plan” for next year, they wouldn’t have gone dumpster diving and bargain hunting this year. I don’t think they would’ve let their starting C and RF go and replaced them with AAAA players and a 40 year old who hasn’t gotten on base in 3 years. They would have been more aggressive with the utility IF, 4th OFer, and possibly starting 3B. They could have kept a real starting outfielder who could be filling for Teixeira without any drop-off. All kinds of possibilities if they had been willing to add commitments (other than a baseball contract for non-baseball reasons for Ichiro and the subsidized Wells deal) to 2014 for baseball reasons and non-desperation.

    Next year, they are going to let Hughes go. Jeter will take a pay cut. One or both of Pettitte and Kuroda will probably go. Granderson gone. Youk probably gone. Joba gone. They should probably DFA Ichiro, but they won’t- It could be Wells-Gardner-Ichiro- ug. That’s a lot of payroll leaving, and even with Cano’s new deal they will be dropping salary. They have a lot of minor league catchers, and since they decided to play minor league guys this year, why not next year. Relief staff is young and cheap with many AAA options. They might have some internal 4th OFer and Utility options. They could get a lot cheaper next year if they want.

  11. mazblast - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Someone is going to get fired for this.


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