Last year, the Bombers made waves and eyes roll when they said that they were determined to get under the $189MM figure to avoid being severely taxed in 2014. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement meant that the Yankees’ free-spending ways were no longer good business, but people were still skeptical that the Steinbrenner family would go through with tightening the belt. One year later, it seems like they’re still serious about being smart shoppers.
The Yankees kept veteran pitchers Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda on one-year deals, meaning that they’ll see a combined $27MM come off of the books after this season. Kevin Youkilis was also brought in on a one-year, $12MM deal to satisfy the club’s need at third base. Meanwhile, the club resisted temptation and stayed away from the bigger names on the open market this winter. It’ll stay that way too, despite Scott Boras’ desire for the club to get involved with Kyle Lohse.
Everything seems to be falling in line for the Yankees when it comes to getting under the $189MM mark, except when it comes to their star second baseman. The Yanks insist that they have made a “significant offer” to keep Cano for the long-term, but there could be a significant gap between the club and the Boras client. The Bombers could be thinking about something in the neighborhood of seven years at $171MM while Boras might expect opening bids for ten years at $20-25MM per season. Ultimately, keeping Cano from testing free agency may mean compromising their repeated desire to avoid paying steep luxury tax penalties. When all is said and done, do you see the Bombers sticking to their guns?