New York Yankees News/Rumors: Yankees dropping payroll to 2005 levels

Oct 3, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees executive Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone (17) talk before the game against the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 American League wild card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There are varying stories about the New York Yankees offseason swirling around batting champ DJ LeManieu and the Yankee finances. Some stories, particularly about the payroll, have been really confusing. General Manager Brian Cashman has said that the Yankees will have the highest payroll in baseball again. Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner has said he wants to keep the payroll below the luxury tax threshold of $210 million to prevent the team from paying another $24 million in sharing taxes.

The Yankees need pitching help in both the starting rotation and in the bullpen. Their main priority first is to re-sign second baseman DJ Lemahieu. There have been many stories about the Yankees losing more money than any other baseball team last season due mostly to no fan revenue. In recent stories and comments, Cashman is hinting that the 2021 payroll could be rolled back to levels not seen since 2005.

If this turns out that way, it will be a big surprise for New York Yankee fans as they want the team to spend more to get to another World Championship. But with Cashman saying that the spending will be cut short term, don’t expect to see any big acquisitions this offseason. The Yankees seem poised to go with what they have and hope for the best.

The Yankees may not be the only team to take this stance. The Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and other teams have recently reset their payrolls. After huge losses across baseball last season and the uncertainty of a 2021 season, few teams will be making any big splashes in this offseason. For anyone paying attention, you know that there is a flood of free agents on the market. Even after the virtual Winter Meeting took place, there is still almost the same number of players with no jobs.

Buster Olney of tried to put some of this in context when referring to the Yankee’s spending plan.

The Yankees’ payroll for 2021 will be almost identical to what it was in 2005. … In 2005, the first year the Yankees spent more than $200 million, the Rays’ payroll was about $30 million — 14% of that of their division rival in New York. In 2019, Tampa Bay’s payroll was at $93 million, or about 40% of what the Yankees’ spent.

It appears for the New York Yankee fans that it will be an offseason of discontent. For those Yankees fans that say give the young guys a chance to prove themselves, you may have your wish.


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