Yankees Notes: Roberts, Luxury Tax, Robertson

Should Yankees fans be rooting for Alex Rodriguez to avoid a lengthy suspension?  Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out that the Yankees' only chance of staying under the $189MM luxury tax limit is if A-Rod is suspended for the entire 2014 season, but the club would then have very little spending room to address its remaining needs.  If Rodriguez is only suspended for 50 games or so, Sherman argues that the Yankees should abandon their plan of staying under the tax limit and spend freely to improve next year's roster.  “We either have to be under $189MM or up over $200MM or more," a member of the organization tells Sherman. "Think how dumb it would look if we worked for a few years to get under $189MM and we didn’t and we were at like $192MM and just missed. Either we go under or way over.”

Here's some more from the Bronx…

  • Also from Sherman, while the modified posting system will hurt the Yankees' chances of signing Masahiro Tanaka at a relative bargain (in terms of avoiding the luxury tax), the delay in finalizing the new posting agreement puts Tanaka's market closer to the Rodriguez arbitration decision.  This will give the Yankees a better idea of their payroll situation and a better idea of what they'll be able to offer Tanaka.  Sherman predicts a Rodriguez decision will come on either January 3rd or January 13th, with the latter date being preferable to MLB since it be after the Hall of Fame announcements.
  • Brian Roberts' contract with the Yankees contains $2.6MM worth of incentives, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports.  All of the incentives are tied to plate appearances.
  • The Yankees have stayed away from the closer market this winter, which The New York Post's Ken Davidoff interprets as a sign that the club has a lot of confidence in David Robertson to finish games in 2014.  While the Yankees could still acquire a reliever with closing experience, Davidoff believes such an acquisition would likely be for depth rather than as legitimate competition for Robertson.
  • Johan Santana could be a good investment for the Yankees on a minor league deal, ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews opines.  Matthews also suggests Roy Oswalt could be a similar type of low-cost veteran signing, while Paul Maholm could be a safer (if more expensive) choice for the back of the rotation. 
  • In news from earlier today, the Yankees' signing of Carlos Beltran was made official, and New York created 40-man roster space for the slugger by designated righty Brett Marshall for assignment.

47 Responses to Yankees Notes: Roberts, Luxury Tax, Robertson Leave a Reply

  1. East Coast Bias 2 years ago

    Beltran AND Johan? College me would be so happy!

  2. kungfucampby 2 years ago

    Yankees have infinite money. Just go over the cap, you misers.

  3. JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

    The Yankees should look at Jesse Crain for the eighth inning.

  4. VermontMets 2 years ago

    I wish Johan the best but I do not think Yankee Stadium would bode well for him.

    You would think he would want to come back to Queens and redeem himself for returning barely a quarter of the value on his monster contract, but who am I kidding?

    • pft2 2 years ago

      He would face mostly RHB’ers there. Yankee stadium is mostly friendly to LHB’ers

  5. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    Are the Yankees actually relying on Brian Roberts to be their everyday 2nd baseman? And Kelly Johnson as their incumbent 3B? If I were them I’d blow past the luxury tax. Sign Choo, trade for a 3B, 2B, find 3 SP and like 4 BP pitchers lol they have plenty of work to do..

    • What do they have to trade for a second and third basemen?

      • GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

        Um, you really want the injury prone Brian Roberts playing second, he isn’t even that great when healthy! And Kelly Johnson has excelled in a part time role.. And A-Rod could possibly be out for the year.

        • That’s not the point. They don’t have the trade chips necessary to pull off deals for multiple position players.

    • kungfucampby 2 years ago

      Yeah I don’t get their penny-pinching. Just pay the luxury tax money.

    • John Murray 2 years ago

      You’ve got six outfielders now and want to sign Choo? You need pitching, and tons of it. Right now, it’s considerably less important to fix second and third and imperative you fix your pitching. Your bullpen faded down the stretch because it was overworked by mediocre starting pitching, and now you’ve lost one of your best starters, your best middle reliever, and your closer. What the current administration, and seemingly next to none of the fans seem to realize, is you need to focus on your needs, not who’s available. Wanting to sign Choo shows you learned nothing about what the best teams in baseball did to get where they are now.

      • GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

        I’d hardly say they have 6 “outfielders” Wells is not ever going to make the roster. Ichiro can go, and Beltran can’t field. You put Gardner in left, Ellsbury in center, Choo in right, Beltran at DH, and Soriano on the bench.

        • More outfielders isn’t the answer. They need pitching and infield help. Soriano is more than capable of dhing.

        • John Murray 2 years ago

          Soriano ripped it up last year…why put him on the bench? You need pitching a lot more than you need Choo. And anybody of consequence you sign now will cost you an extra 32.5 cents on the dollar in luxury tax for at least the next three years….so a $20M annual salary for Choo would in reality cost almost $27M a year. He’s not worth anything close to that.

          • Tim McCollum 2 years ago

            +1 the only way the Yankees consider another outfielder is if they trade Gardner. Wells won’t make the team and Ichiro will be defensive insurance and a part time player. As it stands it will be Gardner, Ellsbury, and Soriano/Beltran left to right.

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 2 years ago

            Gardner will be in CF, Ellsbury will be in left.

          • John Murray 2 years ago

            LOL – Ells will be in center. You’re not spending $22 million a year for a corner outfielder. You could have saved about $75 million and gotten Nelson Cruz if that’s what you wanted.

          • John Murray 2 years ago

            Even if they trade Gardner, outfielders are hardly what you need. Right now, you desperately need Soriano to play every day, because Ells/Gardner/McCann are lefties, Tex and Beltran are switch hitters that hit much better left handed, and all remaining positions are filled with major question marks. You can’t load up lefties thinking about the short porch, because the Sox will throw Lester and Doubront at you every time in Yankee Stadium, and the Rays will throw Price and Archer at you. Every time. This is exactly why the Sox failed in 2011, and they had a better looking team than the Yankees do now.

          • jjs91 2 years ago

            “You can’t load up lefties thinking about the short porch, because the
            Sox will throw Lester and Doubront at you every time in Yankee Stadium,
            and the Rays will throw Price and Archer at you.”

            Never knew that archer was a lefty…

    • pft2 2 years ago

      All they really need is Drew, Tanaka and Benoit and they could win 90+ games if they stay relatively healthy.

      Right now 2B would be handled by a combination of Roberts/Ryan/Anna, playing time determined by injuries and who performs. If they sign Drew to play 3B they could have Johnson in the mix at 2B, and he probably gets most of the playing time. Anna has some impressive OBP and SB numbers in AAA

  6. Johan would be a good investment for all 30 teams on a minor league deal, not sure why the Yankees would be singled out for any other reason than Wallace having nothing else to write about.

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

      Might have something to do with him being a New York beat writer? Just a thought.

      • That’s what I said. The article wasn’t particularly insightful and failed to acknowledge the not so ridiculous notion that Santana would be better suited in a pitchers park.

        • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

          Every pitcher would be suited to play for a team that plays in a pitcher-friendly stadium.

          • Yes, but a pitcher like Santana would be more inclined given that he’s going to make essentially no money on this deal. Unless the Yankees pony up, there’s no reason for him to sign there.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            Other than if that was his preference to. I’m not going to pretend to know what reasons he may or may not have with signing with a particular team.

  7. John Murray 2 years ago

    It looks unlikely that the Yankees could stay under the cap with or without A-Rod; they’re over with him now, because although only about $175M is committed now, it’s assumed that about $15M is needed for arbitration awards, and at least another $5M to round out the roster. And at present, their pitching is thin at best. To get pitching that can compete with the best five staffs in the AL – the Sox, Rays, Tigers, A’s and even the Rangers…it’s going to cost another $20M per year. And with $125M already committed to six players in 2015 and 2016, there’s no chance of getting under in those years either. If the Yankees don’t get at least two of the best pitchers on the FA board now, all the money spent on Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran will be wasted.

    • They need Tanaka. Their worries about Santana, Garza, and Jiminez are merited. Too homer prone for that kind of ballpark.

      • John Murray 2 years ago

        Agreed, but there’s at least an even chance now that nobody gets him this year. And right now, they just need guys that can eat innings to keep up. The bullpen was deeper last year, and it buckled under the pressure down the stretch. It looks like a lot of 12-10 games this year.

      • Alex Ginebra 2 years ago

        Can’t really label Jimenez as “homer prone.” When he’s healthy, he is actually quite the opposite. The guy had an average 0.6 HR/9 in his years pitching for the Rockies. By comparison, groundall pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, in his heyday, put up HR/9 numbers of 0.4 & 0.5 for the Yanks. Its Ubaldo’s uncharacteristically subpar 2012 that inflated his career HR/9, when he gave up a career-high 25 HRs while pitching through a bum arm. It’s more his health, and dip in velocity, that has to be a concern for the Yanks when they look at Ubaldo. If he’s healthy, he would be my top choice, besides Tanaka, to pencil into the 3rd spot in the rotation. And that is mostly because of the fact that he hasn’t been very homer prone over the majority of his career. I am a firm believer that the Yanks should only sign LH starters and groundball RH starters. Flyball RH starters like Hughes and Javy Vazquez should be avoided, no matter how many swings-and-misses they generate. I also think Ubaldo has the highest ceiling, if he can rediscover some of his Colorado form. Big if of course.

      • pft2 2 years ago

        None of the free agents have any upside. Jiminez has 2 good months in 3 years. Santana had a contract year. Garza is in decline. Tanaka may or may not be great, but I would rather roll the dice on him than the others.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Not to mention the 3 draft picks they lost, It’s one thing to give up draft picks to compete for the upcoming season, but not to improve from a 80 W team to a 85 W team. I wish I could understand the 189 fixation, since the gains are dwarfed by the revenue losses from not winning.

      Yankees have done quite well for over a decade paying 20 million or so in tax. Why change a model that works especially when you have no prospects to count on. Last year they had some bad luck with injuries, at the MLB and minor league levels, or else they would have made the playoffs.

      • Tim McCollum 2 years ago

        They have lost only 1 draft pick when you consider the two they get for Cano and Granderson.

        • John Murray 2 years ago

          Meaning, a team with a desolate farm system has no first round picks, and as of this writing, the Red Sox, with a rich and deep farm system, have three. Prospects might turn out, and they might not, but the game is changing, and the 80s method of “sign the best guys you can get” isn’t going to keep working.

      • John Murray 2 years ago

        Hate to tell you, but the reason they didn’t make the playoffs last year is because they didn’t account for their issues. Letting Swisher and Martin go was largely applauded by the fan base, but it’s interesting to note they both played in the postseason with teams that hadn’t been there in a long while. They decided to go older and cheaper, and when two of their younger guys went down – they weren’t prepared for the consequences. And the biggest reason of all? The vaunted pitching was mediocre. They didn’t address their lack of depth last offseason, and thus far, they haven’t done it this year either. They had four outfielders; now they have six. They’ve replaced their biggest problems with aging veterans with major question marks, and they’re biggest solution to their pitching issues is Matt Thornton.

        Spending money over the limit isn’t what made them great. The Captain. Bernie Williams. Mo. Posada. Pettitte. Homegrown players, not FAs, made them elite. And the absence of homegrown talent is about to turn them into the mid-80s also-rans that drove the Boss crazy.

  8. InvalidUserID 2 years ago

    Just spend already, Yankees. You’ve got the cash and the holes in the rotation/lineup…doo eet.

  9. slider32 2 years ago

    If A-Rod is suspended for the year and Tanaka doesn’t post I think the Yanks look to trade for a front line pitcher instead of going after the free agents available. Pitchers that will become free agents like Bailey, De La Rosa, Gallardo, Masterson, Kendrick, or Mc Carthy. They might have to dangle Gardner to a contending team for a starter. I still like Detwiller and Espinosa to the Yanks for Gardner, Warren, and Nunez.

    • John Murray 2 years ago

      You’re kidding, right? Mike Rizzo is smarter than that. He doesn’t want one year of Gardner; he’s already got a center fielder under contract for a year, just like Gardner. Warren and Nunez are of no value to the Nationals; they have a full infield already and a solid bullpen that they’ve got no need of extra depth for. And to give up their #5 starter for what you’re offering? No chance. With only one year left, Gardner isn’t near enough to get you a pitcher of consequence.

    • Delia Enriquez 2 years ago

      Brett Gardner will NOT get you Justin Masterson or Homer Bailey alone. Besides, the Yankees highly value Gardner and won’t just throw him into any trade. They would have to be overwhelmed to give him up–and none of those choices will overwhelm Cashman.

  10. JJ 2 years ago

    NYY stay away from Roy Oswalt.

    • Tim McCollum 2 years ago

      Assuming no better than a non guaranteed minor league deal and a camp invite why not?

  11. pft2 2 years ago

    Even if the Yankees have confidence in Robertson as closer they still need a bridge to him. Who is the 8th inning guy? Heck, who is the 7th inning guy.

    • john 2 years ago

      7th inning is touchy, but 8th inning is easy, especially if he pitches like he did last year, Preston Claiborne

  12. bluekaiser 2 years ago

    Why haven’t I heard (non-tendered) Tommy Hanson’s name mentioned as a possibility for the Yankees or for anyone else, had some strong years for the Braves, is he hurt?

  13. Robert Cevetillo 2 years ago

    I would like to see Nunez and either Romaine or another catcher to the Mets for Murphy and a pitcher. It would help Yanks at 2nd and Mets at SS

    • Tim McCollum 2 years ago

      Nunez isn’t a better player than Tejada and the Mets don’t need a catcher when they have D’Arnaud.

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