2011 Contract Issues: New York Yankees

The Yankees face one contractual option after the season: designated hitter Nick Johnson has a $5.5MM mutual option with a $250K buyout.  Johnson is currently on the DL with an inflamed tendon in his wrist.  It seems unlikely that both sides will exercise the option.

If Johnson goes, the Yankees will be freeing up a total of $67.7MM for departing free agents.  Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Javier Vazquez lead the way.  We'll also tack on another $2.2375 for Alex Rodriguez's salary decrease and money no longer paid to Chad Gaudin and Melky Cabrera.  That's $70MM coming off the books.

Increases to players under contract total $8.5MM, with Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano getting raises.  The Yankees also have Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes hitting arbitration for the first time.  Boone Logan would be a second-timer, while Sergio Mitre fits into the fourth-time class.  Even adding in the arbitration raises, the Yankees should have a good $55MM to work with without raising payroll.

Of course, a large chunk of that $55MM or so will be allocated toward new contracts for Jeter, Rivera, and possibly Pettitte.  If all three re-sign near their 2010 salaries, it'll eat up most of the free money.  In that case a payroll increase would be necessary to get into the mix on other big-name free agents.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the information.


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53 Comments on "2011 Contract Issues: New York Yankees"


5 years 3 months ago

They’ll resign Mo and Jeter. Pettitte will probably retire, then the Yankees will go after any and every big name free agent, because that’s what they do. It’s not even competitive any more. They throw around money like it ain’t no thing because to them it isn’t. So who are the big name FAs next season? Why not just sign every player in the league have a roster of like 1,000 players and then play little league teams.

stevefromwaltham
5 years 3 months ago

How many big name Free Agents did the Yankees go after this past season? Lackey? Nope. Bay? Nope. Holliday? Nope. They signed Nick Johnson and Randy Winn and made trades for Vazquez and Granderson. Hardly a huge spending spree.

alphakira
5 years 3 months ago

Why? Because it’s not 2015 yet – that’s my prediction. In 2015 the Yankees will have purchased all players in baseball, designating for assignment the remaining players that don’t fit into their MLB, AAA, AA, A and Rookie class teams. Only then will the rest of our teams have a crack at the remaining players.

East Coast Bias
5 years 3 months ago

That makes no fiscal sense.

East Coast Bias
5 years 3 months ago

That makes no fiscal sense.

Yankee_Baal
5 years 3 months ago

Your babbling suggest jaelousy… sad.

roshkoch
5 years 3 months ago

Yeah, because last year they just went out signing everyone, right? Come on now, every team in baseball tries to sign free agents. Do you know who one of the few owners to vote AGAINST free agency was? Oh yeah, George M. Steinbrenner. He said it would ruin baseball. He knew the advantage would go to large market teams. He was right. Now quit crying about it and start giving grief to your team’s ownership for not reinvesting all that money that the big market teams pay back out through luxury taxes into players, instead of their own greedy pockets.

Kolukonu
5 years 3 months ago

Is that so? That’s why the Yanks signed Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, John Lackey last season, right? Oh wait, they didn’t.

East Coast Bias
5 years 3 months ago

Currently, MLB rosters are limited to 25 players, so I don’t see that happening. Plus, they don’t really rake in the $ from Scranton Wilkes Barre, Trenton, Tampa, or Charleston.

I understand it’s hyperbole, but at least make some sense when venting your frustration.

East Coast Bias
5 years 3 months ago

Currently, MLB rosters are limited to 25 players, so I don’t see that happening. Plus, they don’t really rake in the $ from Scranton Wilkes Barre, Trenton, Tampa, or Charleston.

I understand it’s hyperbole, but at least make some sense when venting your frustration.

5 years 3 months ago

I see Pettitte retiring and the Yankees going hard for Cliff Lee,, possibly backloading his contract.

04Forever
5 years 3 months ago

I agree

thesportsshowlive
5 years 3 months ago

What sense would it make to back load his contract? He’s got a history of injuries and is on the wrong side of 30.

5 years 3 months ago

The fact that they might not be able to afford him without upping payroll again in the early years?

thesportsshowlive
5 years 3 months ago

What sense would it make to back load his contract? He’s got a history of injuries and is on the wrong side of 30.

04Forever
5 years 3 months ago

I can see the Yankees going for Cliff Lee very hard in the summer time this July and even harder in the offseason. Javier will probably get traded as well, probably to the Mets if i had to make an educated guess. The Yankees dont need to make improvements, just maintain and get a big name pitcher to make up for the big screwup in acquiring Javier.

alphakira
5 years 3 months ago

If the Mets wouldn’t take a risk on a former ace in Ben Sheets as well as some decent 3-4 pitchers (Wang, Marquis, etc.), they won’t take a risk – and have to TRADE a player, not just eat salary – on Vazquez. Don’t believe everything you read from uneducated beat reporters, even Minaya isn’t that stupid.

04Forever
5 years 3 months ago

maybe, but i doubt its put to bed anytime soon

East Coast Bias
5 years 3 months ago

Right on. Who would actually take a flier on Javy in his current state. I don’t know where that Mets rumor came from or why it’s still going. You’re right – some people believe everything they read.

East Coast Bias
5 years 3 months ago

Right on. Who would actually take a flier on Javy in his current state. I don’t know where that Mets rumor came from or why it’s still going. You’re right – some people believe everything they read.

HHHDMS
5 years 3 months ago

its a combination of the Yanks having the money to invest in their team and the players who desire to win a championship or at least be on a serious contender. Some players (most) probably would rather have a big $$$ contract no matter where they play. Someone like Lee could go to NY because the Yanks are in the post season every year. I can also see the NYY going after Lee and possibly Werth or Crawford.

doral4720
5 years 3 months ago

It’s funny how the Yankee haters ALWAYS bring up money as the sole reason the Yankees win championships. The Yankees pay a hefty luxury tax and there are other teams with just as much or more money than the Yankees. The problem is that unlike the Yankees who are committed to winning championships most of these teams put their money in their pockets instead of putting a good team on the field. If all it takes is money then how do you explain that the Yankees didn’t win a championship in 18 years (1978 to 1996). Thank god for George Steinbrenner and his commitment to winning championships.

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

Look I’m a Yankee fan but I do need to correct your claim that there is a team that has “just as much or more money than the Yankees.” See the Yankees revenue last year was 174MM dollars more than the revenue of the team that made the 2nd most money. The Yankees have an unfair advantage that is within the rules and they use it. But I don’t like people bashing on the Yankees for using this advantage, almost any other team in baseball would do the exact same thing if they could.

doral4720
5 years 3 months ago

It’s funny how the Yankee haters ALWAYS bring up money as the sole reason the Yankees win championships. The Yankees pay a hefty luxury tax and there are other teams with just as much or more money than the Yankees. The problem is that unlike the Yankees who are committed to winning championships most of these teams put their money in their pockets instead of putting a good team on the field. If all it takes is money then how do you explain that the Yankees didn’t win a championship in 18 years (1978 to 1996). Thank god for George Steinbrenner and his commitment to winning championships.

doral4720
5 years 3 months ago

It’s funny how Yankee haters ALWAYS point to money as the only reason the Yankees win championships. The Yankees pay a hefty luxury tax every year and there are teams that have as much money or more than the Yankees. The difference is that the Yankees put their money towards keeping or signing new players. A lot of the other teams take their money in put it in their pockets. If money is all it takes then how do you explain the Yankees not winning a championship for 18 years (1978 to 1996)? Thank god for George Steinbrenner and his commitment to winning.

doral4720
5 years 3 months ago

It’s funny how Yankee haters ALWAYS point to money as the only reason the Yankees win championships. The Yankees pay a hefty luxury tax every year and there are teams that have as much money or more than the Yankees. The difference is that the Yankees put their money towards keeping or signing new players. A lot of the other teams take their money in put it in their pockets. If money is all it takes then how do you explain the Yankees not winning a championship for 18 years (1978 to 1996)? Thank god for George Steinbrenner and his commitment to winning.

mikeclyne
5 years 3 months ago

2011 NY Yankees
Lineup
Jeter
Crawford
Arod
Tex
Cano
Granderson
Posada
Swisher
Gardner

Rotation
CC
Lee
AJ
Hughes
Aceves

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

First off, why is A-Rod batting 3rd all of a sudden, and why do we have 4 OF in the starting lineup, which one of them is the DH? And how does Aceves win the 5th rotation spot? McAllister or Nova would probably do better than Aceves, who is better suited as our long reliever.

mikeclyne
5 years 3 months ago

2011 NY Yankees
Lineup
Jeter
Crawford
Arod
Tex
Cano
Granderson
Posada
Swisher
Gardner

Rotation
CC
Lee
AJ
Hughes
Aceves

Kolukonu
5 years 3 months ago

I see the Yanks targeting Crawford if he makes it to FA, or Werth if Crawford doesn’t pan out. And as evident, they need another SP (what a surprise?), so a run at Cliff Lee would not shock me in the slightest.

Kolukonu
5 years 3 months ago

I see the Yanks targeting Crawford if he makes it to FA, or Werth if Crawford doesn’t pan out. And as evident, they need another SP (what a surprise?), so a run at Cliff Lee would not shock me in the slightest.

5 years 3 months ago

With Brett Gardners breakout season, I do not see the Yankees going after Crawford. They will stick with their OF of Gardner, Granderson, and Swisher, and they could potentially go with some combination of Posada/Cervelli/Montero at the DH and C positions. Vazquez and Pettites expiring contracts combined will likely be around the same amount as Lee’s yearly salary. This will give them the potential lineup of:
C: Posada/Cervelli/Montero
1B: Teixeira
2B: Cano
3B: Rodriguez
SS: Jeter
LF: Granderson
CF: Gardner
RF: Swisher
DH: Posada/Montero

SP: Sabathia
SP: Lee
SP: Burnett
SP: Hughes
SP: Chamberlain

Boz
5 years 3 months ago

I don’t think Joba will ever be a starter again. I think that it is becoming more and more obvious that he is the heir apparent to Mo.

5 years 3 months ago

No one will ever be the heir apparent to Rivera.

Boz
5 years 3 months ago

I don’t think Joba will ever be a starter again. I think that it is becoming more and more obvious that he is the heir apparent to Mo.

5 years 3 months ago

With Brett Gardners breakout season, I do not see the Yankees going after Crawford. They will stick with their OF of Gardner, Granderson, and Swisher, and they could potentially go with some combination of Posada/Cervelli/Montero at the DH and C positions. Vazquez and Pettites expiring contracts combined will likely be around the same amount as Lee’s yearly salary. This will give them the potential lineup of:
C: Posada/Cervelli/Montero
1B: Teixeira
2B: Cano
3B: Rodriguez
SS: Jeter
LF: Granderson
CF: Gardner
RF: Swisher
DH: Posada/Montero

SP: Sabathia
SP: Lee
SP: Burnett
SP: Hughes
SP: Chamberlain

jacobjackson
5 years 3 months ago

I agree with most of the commenters here. Brett Gardner’s emergence allows them to place Crawford/Werth on the backburner, and priortize Cliff Lee.

Even if Pettitte doesn’t retire, I think they make it their top priority to sign Lee, because the 2012 FA pitching class has absolutely nothing. The Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson extensions really evaporated it.

So if they don’t sign Lee this offseason they basically can’t make a significant pitching upgrade until Grienke in 2013. They won’t put themselves in that position.

ArmchairGM
5 years 3 months ago

Greinke will not be going to pitch in a big market. He doesn’t like the atmosphere.

jacobjackson
5 years 3 months ago

Does he like $22M a year over six years? Small markets won’t offer that.

ArmchairGM
5 years 3 months ago

Greinke will not be going to pitch in a big market. He doesn’t like the atmosphere.

jacobjackson
5 years 3 months ago

I agree with most of the commenters here. Brett Gardner’s emergence allows them to place Crawford/Werth on the backburner, and priortize Cliff Lee.

Even if Pettitte doesn’t retire, I think they make it their top priority to sign Lee, because the 2012 FA pitching class has absolutely nothing. The Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson extensions really evaporated it.

So if they don’t sign Lee this offseason they basically can’t make a significant pitching upgrade until Grienke in 2013. They won’t put themselves in that position.

YanksFanSince78
5 years 3 months ago

They’ll resign Mo and Jeter. Pettitte will probably retire, then the Yankees will go after any and every big name free agent, because that’s what they do. It’s not even competitive any more. They throw around money like it ain’t no thing because to them it isn’t. So who are the big name FAs next season? Why not just sign every player in the league have a roster of like 1,000 players and then play little league teams.
—–

Really? Like all the free agents they DIDN’T sign last year or in 2008? C’mon..let’s be original.

Realistically the Yanks, assuming they resign Jeter, Mo and one of Pettite/Vazquez, will be set at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, C, CF and RF. I leave LF as a question mark simply because Gardner still isn’t a “lock” with 120 games left this year. In the rotation you have CC, AJ, Hughes and probably one other hold over from this years staff. The Yanks would therefore have openings for a LF/RF, another SP and perhaps a DH. Nox exactly a need to go out and sign every single FA available next year. I expect them to make some moves but not in the same manner as 2009 when they went after CC, AJ and Tex.

YanksFanSince78
5 years 3 months ago

They’ll resign Mo and Jeter. Pettitte will probably retire, then the Yankees will go after any and every big name free agent, because that’s what they do. It’s not even competitive any more. They throw around money like it ain’t no thing because to them it isn’t. So who are the big name FAs next season? Why not just sign every player in the league have a roster of like 1,000 players and then play little league teams.
—–

Really? Like all the free agents they DIDN’T sign last year or in 2008? C’mon..let’s be original.

Realistically the Yanks, assuming they resign Jeter, Mo and one of Pettite/Vazquez, will be set at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, C, CF and RF. I leave LF as a question mark simply because Gardner still isn’t a “lock” with 120 games left this year. In the rotation you have CC, AJ, Hughes and probably one other hold over from this years staff. The Yanks would therefore have openings for a LF/RF, another SP and perhaps a DH. Nox exactly a need to go out and sign every single FA available next year. I expect them to make some moves but not in the same manner as 2009 when they went after CC, AJ and Tex.

yankee234
5 years 3 months ago

i think the yanks will go after some big players like lee and crawford. i think this will be the potential lineup:

ss derek jeter
lf carl crawford
1b mark tex
3b a-rod
2b cano
dh posada
rf swisher
cf granderson
c/dh montero

bench

cervelli
pena
gardner
johnson

sp cc
sp cliff lee
sp aj
sp vazquez
sp hughes

jwredsox
5 years 3 months ago

so the yankees are going to spend money on vazquez, jeter, and assumingly rivera, AND are going to commit over 35mil to Crawford + Lee and not even counting the long term dollars? Doubtful at best.

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

I completely agree, and if Gardner plays at the level he is all year then I think the only big name the Yankees go after is Lee. (Not counting Jeter and Mo because we all know they’ll retire in a Yankee uniform)

yankee234
5 years 3 months ago

i think the yanks will go after some big players like lee and crawford. i think this will be the potential lineup:

ss derek jeter
lf carl crawford
1b mark tex
3b a-rod
2b cano
dh posada
rf swisher
cf granderson
c/dh montero

bench

cervelli
pena
gardner
johnson

sp cc
sp cliff lee
sp aj
sp vazquez
sp hughes