Aiming for a $189m budget for 2014, it came as a surprise to me when Randy Levine was quoted saying the Yankees planned on keeping Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson past the end of their current contracts in 2013. As it stands, the team has $75m guaranteed to Alex Rodriguez (38 in 2014), CC Sabathia (33), and Mark Teixeira (34). Derek Jeter’s 2014 option will likely be picked up, adding an additional $5 million to the payroll for a 40 year old player. After the 2013 season, Cano and Granderson will face free agency for the first time in their careers, and both players could likely obtain contracts at or near $20 million a year. For such a skilled defensive middle infielder like Cano, the price is right, as it would be nearly impossible to replace his value at second base. For Granderson, a player two years older, on a team that has a better defensive center fielder (Gardner), the value is more easily replaceable.
Granderson would be 33 in his first year on a new or extended contract, an age likely past his peak years. Without Arod, Teixeira, and Sabathia’s long term contracts, it might make sense to keep Granderson around. We’re looking at a different scenario though, a team that will have five hefty annual salary contracts for players in their mid to late 30’s from 2015 to 2017. Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see either player obtain $20 million+ contracts, I’ll be incredibly optimistic about team friendly contracts and put them on four year $60 million deals.
|Player||2014 Salary (Age)||2015 Salary (Age)||2016 Salary (Age)||2017 Salary (Age)|
|Alex Rodriguez||$27.5m (38)||$27.5m (39)||$27.5m (40)||$27.5m (41)|
|CC Sabathia||$24.4m (33)||$24.4m (34)||$24.4m (35)||$5m (36)|
|Mark Teixeira||$22.5m (34)||$22.5m (35)||$22.5m (36)|
|Curtis Granderson||$15m (33)||$15m (34)||$15m (35)||$15m (36)|
|Robinson Cano||$15m (31)||$15m (32)||$15m (33)||$15m (34)|
|Total (Age)||$104.4m (34)||$104.4m (35)||$104.4m (36)||$62.5m (37)|
As you can see, even with the team friendly contracts and without the $30 million in possible bonuses Alex Rodriguez will begin to earn, the amount of money tied up in aging players is ridiculously high. In 2015 and 2016, over $100 million will be tied up in all five players respectively averaging 35 and 36 years old. In comparison to this year, the team has eight players in the mid 30’s or later, and together they’re earning $77.5 million.
Making Cano a career Yankee is a no-doubter, but the Yankees don’t appear prepared to make the sacrifices that a budgeted team has to face. With Brett Gardner and a decent number of outfield prospects available in the organization(Mason Williams included), adding another high salary player in his declining years is a mistake. As much as I like Curtis Granderson now, he simply doesn’t make sense for the team in the future. In 2014, the guaranteed money to the five players mentioned will likely be over $105 million, plus Arod will most likely see one of his $6 million bonuses activated that year. This leaves the team 20 spots on the 25 man roster and somewhere between $60-$70 million left on the budget. Unless there is a miracle, I’m starting to think that team will have a tough time competing in the American League East with so much money tied up in aging players.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees