Monday, November 6, 2017

The question of 2018: Will Hal's plans to cut luxury taxes undermine our chances?

According to our secret master plan, two things will happen next year.

a) The Yankees finally will cut payroll to below the $189 million luxury tax threshold, allowing them - after 14 years of shelling out to support small market teams such as the earnest Pittsburgh Pirates and the ungrateful, bitter, acne-riddled Tampa Bay Rays - to avoid Bud Selig's oppressive, job-killing payroll taxes.   

b) The Yankees will win the World Series, crushing our opponents and fostering a new era of peace and prosperity for the world. The moon shall be in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligned with Mars, so peace will guide the planets and love can steer the stars... t'will be the dawning of the age of Gregorius, the age of Gregorius, Gregorrrrrrrrius! Gregorius! 

Question for the day: Can these futures coexist?

Look, I don't want to turn this into a spreadsheet thingy. Somewhere, near Cooperstown Cashman's corner-view office sits a wing of windowless cubicles, where 340-pound math savants sit knee-deep in empty Pepsi cans and Cheeto wrappers, power-crunching free agent pap smears. Besides, we sort of did our numbers thingy the other day. The crux of the gist: Even with Masahiro Tanaka staying - (he loves us! he loves us!) - Hal still should have $75 million in bloated salaries coming off the boards, and last year's $196 million payroll wasn't too far above the threshold. 

If we re-sign CC Sabathia and cover all our arbitration raises, Hal still should have enough coin to sign a studly pitcher - (the Gammonites want "the Japanese Babe Ruth," Mr. Shohei Otani.) On paper, we might even have enough left over for a situational lefty and a LH backup catcher. 

But, but, but...

When does anything on paper ever come to pass?

Here's a better prediction, based on the science of cold, clinical cynicism:

Unless everything goes wrong - (For reference: see the 2017 NY Football Giants) - come the July 30 trade deadline, Coop Cashman will face a Sunday morning buffet of Stromans and Bumgarners, whose teams are swirling the drains, and whose prices will not only be the crown jewels of Trenton, but accepting salaries that will dropkick us back into high tax country. 

In the history of MLB luxury taxes, only seven teams have ever paid: The Angels, Tigers, Redsocks, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and us. (Boston has done it six times, the second most. We have done it 14 - yes, fourteen.) It sure would be nice to get out from under that boulder. Also, it sure would be nice to have a billionaire owner who doesn't whine whenever the tax man comes around.

Can we have both? 

At some point in 2018, Hal will have to decide: Does he want a tax cut, or are we going for it, both balls in, on next October? Because the world needs a time of harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelation, and the mind's true liberation... Gregorrrrius... Gregorius!

A lot will happen between now and July 31. By then, I sincerely hope that the Yankees have figured out the futures of Miguel Andujar, Glyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams and Tyler Wade. Because if we haven't, and we're stuck needing to trade for another Toddfather, we could end up with neither objective accomplished - a year with nothing.

It's a tightrope, folks, and in the end, it'll all be up to Hal. Just sayin'... 


JMV said...

Hi there, Mr. Duque

Luxury tax threshold is set to 197 mm for 2018 isn't it?

And yes, we can do both. We're going all the way!

Parson Tom said...

The Yankees are makers. They're not takers. The luxury tax is a 14-year streak worth extending, a point of pride, a record for the ages, especially if the right Verlander comes along, not the wrong Darvish. How do I know the difference before the World Series is over? Of course I don't. We're results-based around here.

TheWinWarblist said...

Both balls, ever and always, ALL THE WAY IN !! DAMMIT!!

ranger_lp said...

This luxury tax thing has been is very important that the Yanks reset to under the cap so next year they can use what would have been applied to the tax to get Harper or whomever.