Amid news that the money available to the near-hard capped draft will be a bit lower than expected, I wrote yesterday that the Yankees should pin their hopes, and their money, on a free agency strategy. I admit that a much more creative option did not come to mind until SEHumphrey made the following comment:
I’ve been thinking about the CBA a bit, and it to me that it has limited negative effect on the Yankees. In particular, the international signings seem like a place where they can really just destroy the other teams with limited consequences.
Honestly, this could in theory work. It’ll never happen, for reasons I’ll outline below, but it’s a theoretical strategy. Let’s review the CBA structure:
- For international free agents, teams will get an overall budget based upon last year’s standings. Teams may sign any number of players using that budget.
- If your team exceeds the budget, you face a luxury tax. If your team exceeds the threshold by a certain amount, they will be barred from signing any player for more than $250,000 in the next signing period.
- Year One: Spend like crazy. The Yankees blow the crap out of their budget – they go out and buy every player for as much money as is necessary. They pay their luxury tax and buy as many players over their budget as possible. They outbid their competition at every step.
- Year Two: Suffer the restrictions. Internationally, they are barred from spending more than $250,000 on any player, so they stick to their budget while scooping up as many players are possible.
- Year Three: Rinse, repeat.
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