The New York Yankees want to get below the luxury tax so they can get back to big spending in free agency, after changing their ways and tactics in the offseason recently. Regardless of how this season ends (probably without the playoffs), they’re headed in the right direction.
The Yankees sights are set on the end of the 2018 season, when Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado become free agents. They had nearly $210 million committed to salaries this season, but with Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia coming off the books, things will becomes simpler and a lot more manageable in 2017.
At the moment, the Yankees have $139.3 million in guaranteed contracts for 2017, and an estimate of $32.3 million added through arbitration, unless the Yankees sign these players to some extensions. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room for big signings, but it puts them in a much better spot compared to this season, and certainly helps the Yankees on their way to the goal of being way below the threshold in 2018.
It’s worth remembering the Yankees have quite a few players on the team right now who could be seeing a massive extension coming their way. Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances and Gary Sanchez to name a few. The Yankees have also bolstered their farm system through trades over the last two years, which could help them land players like Chris Sale (in short, a big-name starting pitcher), and sign them to a massive deal when the moment comes.
The Yankees, in their own way, are trying to become more cost effective, while keeping up with the changes in Baseball, and most importantly, return to dominance, as they’re about to miss the postseason for the third time in the last four years. Outspending everyone just isn’t a viable plan anymore, but the Yankees don’t want to shy away from spending big. They just want to do it in pulses, instead of going all-in all at once, which has become too costly in recent years, and not necessarily something that guarantees success.