NYY are not interested in signing Holliday. They’ll talk to Boras to keep other bidders honest, but corner outfield not a priority for them.
Can’t say this surprises me one bit. The Yanks spent lavishly last off season (while still lowering payroll) in what was a strong free agent class. But this year’s edition is both weaker overall and the Yanks don’t have any glaring needs like they did last year. Also, coming off a World Series championship they have some equity with the fans and media, and therefore an opportunity to do some things they’ve been meaning to do for a while.
I’ve been on record saying I think the Yanks will lower payroll substantially this off season, and will likely lower it further next year. I think there are a few reasons for this. Brian Cashman’s control of Baseball Ops, Hal Steinbrenner not being his father and the looming CBA negotiation with the Player’s Union in 2011.
We know that when Cashman took control of Baseball operations in 05 he set out to run the team differently than it was in years past. Rebuild the farm system, use it to fill roster needs and make trades from a position of strength. He has been far more selective in signing free agents than George ever was. Hal has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and if nothing else, can therefore be expected to run the team more rationally and disciplined than his father did. Since 07 when George gave the reigns to his sons, we’ve been living in a new era of Yankee ownership, one that is still taking shape annually.
Now we get to the looming MLB labor negotiations. 2011 sounds like a way off, but most economists think we are in a ‘new normal’ which includes lack of access to credit for small businesses, high unemployment and non-existent GDP growth (when you subtract the stimulus dollars) for the foreseeable future. That means business conditions will likely still be soft when the CBA expires, and Bud Selig will be looking for union givebacks. In that environment, he will probably get some. Rules changes are almost always bad for the Yanks and almost always targeted at reigning them in financially.
This is why I think the Yanks take their payroll DOWN a few notches this off season and next, in anticipation of rules changes. Those changes could include higher Luxury tax rates, lower thresholds for paying them, international draft, hard slotting system, etc, etc. I doubt Bud will get all of that, but whatever he gets will be bad news for the Yanks. By getting their payroll down now, they won’t have to do anything drastic later. If I had to put a number to it, I’d guess the Yanks come in at 185-190 for 2010 and 175 for 2011.
That’s why when I hear fans talk about spending like crazy on guys like Matt Holliday, it strikes me as misguided. Brian Cashman took control of Baseball ops to have this team operate differently than when George was running things. People still don’t seem to get that. Hal would have taken payroll down last year, but Cash convinced him there was a unique market opportunity with CC, Tex and AJ. I think the long-rumored downsizing of the Yankee payroll starts this year, in anticipation of rules changes in 2011. I also think the Yanks will be better off as a result.
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