Yankees can save $4.1 million by cutting relief pitcher

lou trivino, yankees
Mar 2, 2023; Bradenton, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Lou Trivino (56) throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning during spring training at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees face a complex financial landscape as they enter the off-season with a projected active payroll of $239.9 million post-arbitration. Despite having released Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German, the team still shoulders significant contracts, notably Aaron Judge ($40 million), Gerrit Cole ($36 million), Giancarlo Stanton ($32 million), and Carlos Rodon ($27 million). With about $40 million available before reaching their previous season’s $280 million payroll, the Yankees are looking for ways to optimize their budget for potential free-agent signings.

Contract Details and Luxury Tax Considerations

The luxury tax salaries of players like Stanton, which is $10 million less due to the Miami Marlins’ contribution, play a vital role in the team’s financial planning. The Yankees have some room to maneuver within their budget constraints, potentially freeing up more funds by making strategic player decisions.

Potential Roster Adjustments

Assessing Players’ Future with the Team

Lou Trivino, with an estimated $4.1 million salary in arbitration, emerges as a candidate for release. Despite his capabilities as a relief pitcher, his recent Tommy John surgery and the availability of cheaper alternatives make his position with the team uncertain. Freeing Trivino’s salary could partially cover Frankie Montas’s expected $10 million contract for 2024.

Other players like Jonathan Loáisiga, Kyle Higashioka, and Jake Bauers, who collectively command around $6 million combined, are also under scrutiny. Trading Higashioka, releasing Bauers, and making a tough decision regarding Loáisiga, who has struggled with availability, could further increase financial flexibility.

The Challenge for General Manager Brian Cashman

Balancing Spending and Performance

General Manager Brian Cashman is tasked with navigating these financial complexities while maintaining a competitive roster. The team’s willingness to exceed the last luxury tax threshold will significantly influence their off-season strategy.

Big-ticket acquisitions like Yoshinobu Yamamoto projected to command a $200 million deal, and Juan Soto, with an estimated $30 million salary in his final arbitration year, present tempting opportunities but require careful financial planning.

Looking Ahead to 2025

The Yankees may consider surpassing the luxury tax threshold for a season to bolster their depth. With Anthony Rizzo’s expiring deal set to clear $17 million and the potential to replace starters with cheaper prospects, the team could find more financial breathing room in 2025. Cashman’s ability to balance immediate needs with long-term financial health will be crucial in shaping the Yankees’ roster for the upcoming season and beyond.

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