Yankees Plan To Spend Big On 2014-15 Int’l Market

FEBRUARY 12: In a substantial update to his original story on the topic, Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel breaks down the latest on the Yankees' July 2 spending plans. 

First, McDaniel explains that the club's initial strategy was to reach agreement with a group of six players on the same day earlier in the winter. (The league's spending caps continue to drive the agreement timeline earlier, requiring teams to make larger commitments, notes McDaniel.) About $12MM was verbally committed at that point, spread amongst youngsters Dermis Garcia (a Domincan third baseman), Nelson Gomez (same), Juan De Leon (a Dominican center fielder), Jonathan Amundaray (a Venezuelan outfielder), Chris Torres (a Dominican shortstop), and Diego Castillo (a Venezuelan shortstop).

Other teams, too, are rumored to have struck verbal agreements with various players, as McDaniel details. But with several well-regarded talents still purportedly available, sources say that New York may now be planning a "second phase" that could bring the total spend as high as $20MM.

FEBRUARY 7: In an effort to replenish a bleak farm system, the Yankees are preparing to "spend wildly" on the international free agent market this summer, industry sources tell Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. Kiley McDaniel of Scout.com reported in late December that New York was planning to incur penalties by spending $12MM to $15MM on the approaching 2014-15 international signing period. The new signing season, which kicks off (as always) on July 2, is believed by many to offer a particularly strong crop of talent.

The Yankees are allotted just over $2MM to spend on international free agents this summer, but the ESPNNewYork.com duo reports that the club may spend a staggering $18MM in bonuses as they look to restock their minor league ranks with high-upside talent. Such an expenditure would come with the harshest of penalties laid out in the newest CBA; the Yankees would pay a 100 percent tax on their overage and would not be allowed to sign a player for more than $250K in the following international signing period. While those measures are undoubtedly harsh, they haven't stopped the Cubs and Rangers from spending more than $8MM each on international free agents during the current signing period.

Marchand and Matthews continue by stating that one reason behind the potential spending spree is the fear of an eventual international draft that will remove such tactics as a possibility. While the international draft talks have reportedly been tabled until after the 2016 season, implementing such a big spending strategy in 2014-15 could potentially allow the Yankees to employ the tactic twice more before the draft might become a reality. (In my mind, seeing teams pursue such a tactic may only enhance the industry's desire for an international draft.)

General manager Brian Cashman wouldn't comment on the team's spending plans, but he did go on record as saying that it is "certainly our prerogative" to spend more than the allotted amount. One member of the Yankees organization offered the following anonymous quote:

"We consider it a strategic option. Whether we play it this year hasn't been decided. At some point I would imagine we would. It might make sense. One of the things that is looming is the [international] draft and once that happens, we have the same circumstances as in the U.S."


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109 Comments on "Yankees Plan To Spend Big On 2014-15 Int’l Market"


1 year 6 months ago

Oh hey there Yankees, you’re late to the party. Should have already been doing this…but, better late than never I suppose.

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

What you mean, this is the type of thing you can only do once.

1 year 6 months ago

“haven’t stopped the Cubs and Rangers from spending” This is not a new idea is my point.

“potentially allow the Yankees to employ the tactic twice more before the draft might become a reality” Clearly this can be used more than once.

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

If they go over this season they would have to wait two years, the rule changed slightly, the cubs and rangers went over last yr, they can’t do anything this year.

1 year 6 months ago

? Didn’t you just say they can only do this once? What exactly are you arguing here?

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

When i wrote that i thought you were referring to the huge amount they spent.The Yankees can only dump 20 million on 16 year old players once, no matter what the rules say. Then you brought up the cubs and rangers so i figured you meant just breaking the cap. Which is a pretty silly complaint, who cares if the cubs did it one year sooner?

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

When i wrote that i thought you were referring to the huge amount they spent.The Yankees can only pay 20 million to 16 year old players once, no matter what the rules say.

Then you brought up the cubs and rangers so i figured you meant just breaking the cap. Which is a small complaint, who cares if the cubs did it one year sooner?

1 year 6 months ago

My point is simply that the Yankees haven’t been using their biggest advantage internationally for a while now. Now that it is apparent they will have even less of an opportunity to use this advantage…they now want to go big. Had they done this earlier and spent more money internationally even before the CBA was adjusted, they would have more international talent in their farm system.

MrNewYork24
1 year 1 month ago

Dermis Garcia could be one of the best ever, Leonardo Molina and Nelson Gomez are pretty good too. They have woke up from their nap….

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

this same exact report was made in like, december

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

Pretty much, if you or anyone else wants new info on this I highly recommend reading kiley mcdaniel’s work. He actually broke the story in December.

1 year 6 months ago

McDaniel’s piece is cited in the post. The new report has some additional information, so we ran it as well.

EDITED to add: I edited the post to give clearer attribution.

TAKERDBACKS
1 year 6 months ago

It’s about time they get serious and open that wallet. 500 million just isn’t enough to win.

DerekJeterDan
1 year 6 months ago

If it brings in talent along the lines of Puig, Sano, Saler, etc. I’m all for it.

Giff
1 year 6 months ago

Those guys did not apply to the system being talked about here.

MrNewYork24
1 year 1 month ago

They are saying Dermis is better then Sano…. More power

kungfucampby
1 year 6 months ago

Time to invest in Cuban-Dominican boat travel.

briankoke
1 year 6 months ago

This system is already broken.

Mac Simotes
1 year 6 months ago

Theo once again giving a free lesson to Brian Cashman…The Cubs did this already this past season…

TheRealRyan
1 year 6 months ago

Does that mean Andrew Friedman gave a lesson to both of them? The Rays did it before the Cubs back in 2012.

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

No because before 2012 there were no penalties.

TheRealRyan
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not exactly sure what this has to do with my comment. You are correct that before 2012 there were no penalties, but as I stated, the Rays went over spending in 2012 when there were penalties. They were the first team to experience the harshest penalties in international FA, but it did allow them to sign 3 of the top international prospects that year.

GameMusic3
1 year 6 months ago

I do not want a draft, but the penalties currently incentivize this.

Instead, carry over budgets, requiring the Yankees to build up another $18m across multiple seasons.

So you could make a big splash… every decade.

Curt Green
1 year 6 months ago

Here’s an idea. Who ever spends the most money wins.

RhapsodyinBlue
1 year 6 months ago

and this type of thinking is why football completely passed by baseball in popularity in the US

Chris Barrows
1 year 6 months ago

Yet (not disagreeing with you though) more diversity has been seen in MLB playoffs than NFL playoffs. Go figure.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Harris Poll surveys have shown football has been the most popular sport for 30 (yes Thirty) straight years. It has nothing to do with free agent signings going to big market teams.

If payroll parity had everything to do with popularity, then hockey and basketball would be more popular than baseball

The NFL is the most exciting because of how rare it is (a 4 month sport only played 1 day a week by each team). Not to mention all the gambling and fantasy for it too.

dgimbel
1 year 6 months ago

If anything, centralizing talent to a few teams probably mskes baseball more appealing to the common fan, like Wade, James and Bosh being all put on one superstar team.

Pennsy
1 year 6 months ago

Football isn’t popular because it’s rare, though that does contribute to the sense of spectacle about the sport. It’s popular because a wide variety of regions in the United States see success at it on either the professional or collegiate level.

The relative paucity of games means that you can really have two major football leagues, running concurrently, at any one time- NFL and NCAA. Two leagues means twice as many championships, twice as many reasons for fans to become interested. With NCAA football especially efficient in penetrating into the more rural and midwestern parts of the country that professional baseball often leaves behind. But ultimately, I would argue that the NFL is more popular simply because the Lombardi trophy travels outside the dominant (NYC, Chicago, LA) media markets more often

KnowledgeDivine
1 year 6 months ago

you cannot do to baseball what is happened with foot ball. If a large market team starts losing revenue and all teams are capped the sport dies.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Good theory. That’s why the Yankees have won the last 14 WS against the highest NL payroll team each year.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Nice one..

Something that maybe everyone hasn’t considered before racking up all those prospects 18-20m might get as a NYY fan, but am sure you and the smarter ones have…

There are still only going to be so many to go around this up coming signing period. Every team has a certain amount to spend, another team may want to go over board also. we don’t know yet and if NY goes up? Prices will go up, just like they did pre 7/1 2012 when the new limits took effect. Some guys who signed got way more than they would have, we saw Tzu-Wei Lin set the high for any Korean amateur bonus at 2.5m just days before, when he signed as an 18YO. Bidding and because of the new CBA there, but there will be bidding on the same amount of limited talent.

John Donovan
1 year 6 months ago

His theory is incorrect, but part of it has merit. The “down years” for the Yankees still sees them in the hunt for the entire season. However, if we repeat it as “Whoever has the most money can be back in the mix immediately” then it will be accurate.

Look at the Minnesota Twins. They were in the playoffs for several years before their signing of Joe Mauer (which looked really good at the time). Now they have missed the playoffs for 4 years in a row and might have a chance if their farm system develops in another 4-5 years. Small market teams don’t have a quick fix.

However, the Yankees have made the playoffs for 17 out of 19 years and in the other two years they won 89 and 85 games. In that time they have made some of the worst free agent signings of all time (Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, A-Rod) and their farm system has been average at best and it doesn’t matter. The next season they will just buy the best players and be back near the top yet again.

And of course there is the Red Sox which made their mistakes, and got lucky enough to pawn them off onto someone else. Then they spent a ton of money the next year and won the World Series after 1 down year.

MrNewYork24
1 year 1 month ago

Randy Johnson was a trade…

PhillyYank
1 year 6 months ago

Is it that this international crop is deep, or the Yankees consider the domestics to be poor options?

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

The Yankees are more desperate now than ever if that answers your question.

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 6 months ago

I know it’s 5 years since they won the World Series. That was SO LONG AGO!! Typical Yankees, they get desperate and nervous, especially when other AL east teams are more succesfull than they are.

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

Thanks for the inside scoop on the teams thinking.

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 6 months ago

LOL I’ve seen this time and time again. 2007, Red Sox win WS. 2008, Rays win pennant, Yankees miss playoffs. 2008-2009 offseason. Yankees spend million and millions.

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

The yankees spend millions and millions every offseason.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

What’s wrong with doing whatever it takes to try to win every year?

TheRealRyan
1 year 6 months ago

Signing a bunch of 16 yo kids who won’t sniff MLB for at least half a decade doesn’t really sound like a nervous, desperate team to me.

pft2
1 year 6 months ago

The current rules negate their advantage to outspend other teams. By breaking the rules and incurring penalties they restock their farm system. The law of averages says the more players you sign the better chance you have of finding something. This does not preclude them for going after domestics, but the penalties are stiffer for going overslot.

The real question is why they did not spend big in this market before penalties.

PhillyYank
1 year 6 months ago

The law of averages more or less applies here. Who knows? These international players could prove to be completely inept when it comes to the American style of play. There is no “percentage” of a particular player hitting or missing. Such a likelihood is not quantifiable, but rather depends on a collection of players in general. But the Yankees should not sign for the sake of signing and finding. They will have it backwards.

I am wondering if the Yankees were ever in on Puig. Of course, that guy would be giving the front office brass a headache.

slidingintobase
1 year 6 months ago

Before the rules changed, the Yankees were one of the highest spending teams. So, they did do this, just w/o penalties.

I am guessing why they would choose to do it this year rather than last is the depth of talent this year (as quoted in the article) and expectation other teams (e.g. Cubs) won’t be in the mix this time around.

KnowledgeDivine
1 year 6 months ago

there are no quality domestics for them to draft so sign internationals

pft2
1 year 6 months ago

Why would the Yankees let this plan be publicly known.

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

Once you have verbal contracts with x amount of players it kind of gets obvious.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

I heard something stated that it is in order for the agents of the players to take their offers more seriously.

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

Kiley who broke the original story said, some of the players the cubs had verbal deals with broke their commitments because they heard how many deals the cubs were making and it didn’t make any sense to them. It’s a subscriber article but i recommend reading his stuff.

snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

I would like to see the Yankees front office on a normal team because they have to be the worst front office at building a team I’ve ever seen. If they didn’t have Yankee money to cover up their horrible job at fielding a team, I think it would be comical to watch the franchise they were responsible for.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

“If they didn’t have Yankee money to cover up their horrible job at fielding a team, I think it would be comical to watch the franchise they were responsible for.”

But they Do have the money and they want to spend it to put a good product on the field. They have every right to do that too. No rules stating against that (as far as MLB signings go). Why don’t you name me a team that’s full of homegrown players and has no free agents if you can?.

As the JG Wentworth guy says, “It’s your money, use it when you need it”.

Ask any player and they all will tell you baseball is a business. Buying a free agent is a business move. If you want to complain about it, don’t blame a single team, blame the system. Yankees don’t break any rules.

snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

I never said they couldn’t spend the money. They can spend as much as they want for all I care because even with the unlimited resources they have, they still put a mediocre product on the field. All I was saying is that I would like to see the quality of teams Cashman and Co. would put on the field if they didn’t have the unlimited Yankee resources. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like they actually care about fielding a good team, only making sure it is serviceable enough to keep up the Yankee brand. I’m not bashing the Yankees, just questioning the pilots of the ship.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

“they still put a mediocre product on the field”

21 straight winning seasons (the next highest active is 6), playoffs in 17 of the last 19 years (next highest is 11). Talk about mediocrity!

“All I was saying is that I would like to see the quality of teams Cashman and Co. would put on the field if they didn’t have the unlimited Yankee resources”

I agree with you there

“Sometimes it doesn’t seem like they actually care about fielding a good team”

For the Yankees every year it’s “World Series or bust”. so that’s a silly thought if you think they don’t care about fielding a good team.

snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

Sure, they may make the playoffs, but realistically, no one has seen the Yankees as true WS contender for awhile now. They’re like the Athletics, somehow they’re gonna make the playoffs, but nobody really expects them to win it.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

If you make the playoffs, you can make it to the World Series.

Making the playoffs (unless you play in a very weak division) is a result of a successful regular season which is 162 games long. If you can be successful in a 162 game span, you can definitely be successful in a 5-7 game series. To say a team is a “Playoff team but not a WS team” doesn’t make sense.

Some recent history for you. I think the Red Sox last year were only the 4th team in the last 15 years to be the team with the best record in the league and win the World Series. And I believe Cardinals/Red Sox was the first WS matchup featuring the 2 teams with the best record in each league since Yankees/Braves in 1999.

snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

It’s not World Series or bust for the Yankees and you are a complete homer to think that that is the main concern of the front office. The Yankee spending this offseason was a direct result of the money they lost due to not making the playoffs. The Yankees’ management specifically talked about how much revenue they lost by not making the playoffs and how much it affected them financially. Most franchises build their teams around winning a championship with the best of their financial ability. The Yankees build their teams based on revenue projections and brand management. While yes, all teams worry about the those things, I believe the Yankees have taken it to an extreme, where their business isn’t even about baseball anymore, it’s only about profit margains and maintaining brand recognition. Although, you could be a complete homer and really think the moves the Yankees made this offseason made them a WS contendor. Truth is the moves were a band-aid to save their brand and had nothing to do with pleasing their fans. If the Yankees truly cared about their fanbase, they should suck up a few losing seasons and rebuild, but they won’t because that’s not their main focus.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

I also see you’re a Tigers fan and FYI, the Tigers had the 3rd worst farm system in baseball. Are they terrible at “building a team” too?

snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

Uh no, the Tigers are one of the best at developing and utilizing their prospects. Only Ian Kinsler, Joe Nathan, VMart, Torii Hunter, and Rajai Davis are on the team not directly as a result of their farm system. DD is one of the best at either using or trading his prospects, he just doesn’t stockpile them like a lot of teams do.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Sorry it didn’t seem this way, but it was a rhetorical question.

Giff
1 year 6 months ago

It’s mildly amusing that the Cubs were willing to incur the penalties this past year because they thought this year was going to be relatively weak, and now the Yankees want to go all out.

Granted, I’ll concede that predicting the futures of 16 and 17-year olds is volatile, to put it mildly. I’m sure there’s quite a few hall of famers that didn’t look like much of anything at 16 (and conversely, I’m sure there’s a nearly neverending list of 16 year olds that had scouts salivating, who never became anything at all).

Redsoxn8tion
1 year 6 months ago

Makes complete sense because everyone knows that spending tons of money wins championships. Best of luck to them when they don’t win the World Series again in 2014.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah because the Red Sox don’t buy players either.

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah because the Red Sox spend half a billion dollars if they don’t make the playoffs…

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

$355 million in 2011 offseason only to miss the playoffs yet again. Not half a billion, but it’s not chump change.

Pennsy
1 year 6 months ago

The Yankees spend so much for their players because, and try to follow me on this one here, teams like the Red Sox bid them up.

Redsoxn8tion
1 year 6 months ago

Did the Red Sox “bid them up” for Ellsbury, McCan or Tanaka? Or anybody this season for that fact?

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

He said “teams like the Red Sox”. He didn’t say the Red Sox only.

Pennsy
1 year 6 months ago

“Teams like the Red Sox,” clubs that have large markets and big wallets to match them. Rangers, Angels, Phillies, Tigers, so on. The Yankees end up paying as much as they do for the players they do because of these second-tier spenders who are all liable to end up in the top ten in payroll, anyhow. The Red Sox have a top-five payroll themselves. The Yankees and Dodgers may be in a strata all their own but a guy still has to laugh when a Red Sox fan sneers at the Yankees for spending money.

Redsoxn8tion
1 year 6 months ago

Laugh all you want. I know I do when the Yankees don’t make it to the World Series after spending all that cash. Then their answer is to spend even more money every year after. My point is this. If your going to overpay players and spend more money than any other team, you should at least be in the World Series more often then they have been. I truly believe chemistry, besides defense & pitching, is a big part of putting together a winning team. The Yankees don’t have the kind of chemistry.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

If they had no chemistry, then they would never be in the playoffs. Playoff appearances tell more about team chemistry than a WS appearance.

The A’s have not been in the WS since 1990. The Rays have only been in the WS once in their franchise history. Are you saying these 2 teams have no chemistry?

Wek
1 year 6 months ago

I agree about the chemistry. Yankees need to develop club chemistry over fried chicken and beer.

Denny Doyle
1 year 6 months ago

How dare other teams bid Yankees up. Don’t they know Yankees are entitled to every free agent.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Kind of a lame comment to someone who makes a valid point

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 6 months ago

Or it could be the lack of a farm system, hence why they are planning to spend big on international free agents. I don’t think they really got bid up much this offseason.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

You don’t think Ellsbury would have got Crawford or Werth money? McCann got what pretty much everybody expected. And everyone knew Tanaka would cost at least $120 mil (excluding posting fee).

Redsoxn8tion
1 year 6 months ago

Not really sure how to answer that comment as EVERY team “buys” players. No other team in the league spends more money than the Yankees and year after year they fall short with that huge payroll. Even with the lack of big moves the Sox have made this year, I’m still okay with their 2014 team as their farm system is killer. Why do the Yankees feel they need to overpay all these guys and not rely on their farm system?

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

“Not really sure how to answer that comment as EVERY team “buys” players”

Then this contradicts the argument that only the Yankees buy their championships.

“No other team in the league spends more money than the Yankees and year after year they fall short with that huge payroll”

In the last 10 years, the Red Sox have spent more money than every team in baseball not named the Yankees. Once again, another Red Sox fan here acting as if their team has a payroll like the Rays and A’s.

And you should be okay with your 2014 Sox and their farm. Unless luck plays the Yankees way like it did last year for the Sox (and by luck I mean staying healthy all year pretty much), the Red Sox will probably be better than the Yankees for several years now.

Redsoxn8tion
1 year 6 months ago

I never said that only the Yankees try to buy championships. I should learn my lesson to not post comments about the Yankees being that I’m a Sox fan.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

“I never said that only the Yankees try to buy championships”

I know you didn’t but most Yankee haters do

“I should learn my lesson to not post comments about the Yankees being that I’m a Sox fan.”

Comment all you want. I could care less. I just laugh at the hypocrisy from some (again, Some, not All) Sox fans when they say the Yankees spend money and buy players. Pot calling the kettle black

Denny Doyle
1 year 6 months ago

Just one thing you forgot to add. Yankees have spent a half-billion dollars more than the 2nd place Red Sox during that 10 year span, and more than that compared to every other team.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Good point, but my point still stands about the Red Sox spending

Denny Doyle
1 year 6 months ago

My point stands that Yankees are leagues ahead of everyone else when it comes to spending. Someone has to be in 2nd place.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Fair Enough

jjs91
1 year 6 months ago

I’m going to guess their pursuit of another ws win in 2014 has absolutely nothing to do with signing 16 year old players that can’t play until 2015.

Mike1L
1 year 6 months ago

This is a foolish rule. MLB, is trying to protect the small market teams, forgets that scarcity drives up prices. The Yankees (or any other team) cannot buy up all the international talent. And, the more MLB tries to squeeze large market teams out of draft-picks and the international market, the more those teams have to pay up of the free agent market–again driving up prices,

slidingintobase
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t see how scarcity applies to this – the number of international players is the same regardless. Without the rule, a team like the Yankees could do the exact same thing but w/o any penalties. So how would that be better?

telsonloda
1 year 6 months ago

It’s mildly amusing that the Cubs were willing to incur the penalties this past year because they thought this year was going to be relatively weak, and now the Yankees want to go all out.”If they didn’t have Yankee money to cover up their horrible job at fielding a team, I think it would be comical to watch the franchise they were responsible for.”

Dave Shearer
1 year 6 months ago

There needs to be a international draft so one team can not outbid everyone.

JoeSeadog
1 year 6 months ago

The Yankees don’t break any rules in their signings, they deal with the cards they are dealt. Realize that Internationally, especially south of our borders, “yankees” means baseball. An old friend who was (probably still is) a scout says you go to try-outs or even organized games and over half the boys have Yankee hats or shirts. From the mythical Babe Ruth to Mariano Rivera, they represent “breaking free” of the bonds of poverty and sometimes tyranny.

jury_rigger
1 year 6 months ago

“Yankees to spend heavily” would also have been acceptable both for headlining this article and as a general truism

1 year 6 months ago

By the way, the penalty for exceeding the signing pool by more than 15% was bumped up this past year in response to the failure to implement an international draft. The penalty the Yankees would face is the inability to sign any single IFA for more than $300,000 for the following two years.

ed27
1 year 6 months ago

One thing that baffles me is how the execs in charge of the Yankee Minor League system retain their jobs. One after another, highly touted prospects reach the AA level and fail to produce. Some get injured, others just don’t hit or pitch well but few make the parent club to help the aging roster win games. There has to be some bright second-in-command at Tampa, St. Louis, or Boston who could turn the thing around if given the opportunity. The Yankee hierarchy is staring to remind me of General Motors in the 1970’s.