It seems like the Philadelphia Phillies are becoming the place where New York Yankees of the 2010’s reunite. Joe Girardi, Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson (recovering from Tommy John surgery), and Didi Gregorius. But it’s what Didi said about Brian Cashman that has Yankees fans in a tither. However, simply reinforces where the Yankees have been the last 5-8 years.
The Yankees Still Worry About the Luxury Tax
I’ve talked about how the Yankees were going to be a stronger team resigning Didi. But justifying resigning Didi was complicated. Didi did have a bad season, but you could just as easily chalk up his poor performance to his recovery from Tommy John. His struggles in August and September can be attributed to a usual mid season slump (his season didn’t start till June, remember?).
But resigning Didi was going to push them even closer to passing that third tier of the luxury tax. Resigning Brett Gardner, on top of signing Gerrit Cole to his contract (a necessity) are bringing the Yankees precariously close to crossing the $248 million third tier, forcing them to pay an extra 42.5% on every dollar spent on salary passed $248 million. The Yankees are doing everything that they can to avoid this. And resigning Didi was going to be more than $10 million, which unquestionably would have set them over the top.
So The Yankees Are Making Moves That Make Sense… for Them
I’ve written about how the Yankees are a better team keeping Gleyber at second, numerous times.I argue that the best thing they could have done was resign Didi, to keep their double play team together. But they didn’t want to spend the $10 plus on a deal for Didi that wasn’t the $17 million qualifying offer. It was also another way for them to save one of their draft picks.
They’re also now trying to move Happ to “soften the blow” of Cole’s contract. Not to toot my own horn, but this goes back to the Yankees offering the big contracts to the wrong players. That $17 million/year, 3 year deal was money you COULD have given Didi and Cole.
Hopefully this is the final year the New York Yankees make crazy decisions based on the luxury tax. Here’s hoping the CBA moves the threshold up even higher than it is.