Monday, November 28, 2016

If the new luxury tax threshold is set at $200 million, this could be the year Hal hits his magical number

There is talk that baseball's next Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Scrooges and their fancy pet poodles will set team luxury tax thresholds at a fat, juicy $200 million - ending Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner's long and unfulfilled quest to reach that vaunted $189 million payroll limit. Like peace in the Middle East, or among the Kardashians... it was just never fated to happen.

If so, this could be the year - even with the signing of Aroldis Chapman and/or a mercenary DH - that the Yankee plantation owner finally escapes his long-time, overwhelming luxury tax liabilities.

Right now, according to the Cot's Baseball Contracts website, the Yankees face at least $136 million in guaranteed contracts for 2017. That doesn't count future arbitration settlements with Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Michael Pineda, Austin Romine and Aaron Hicks - (though let's not worry about paying Hicks; he sucks) - plus the piddling rookie salaries of Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, et al. Let's say all the extras cost $35-45 million. That still puts us around $180 million - with $20 million to spare on the return of El Chapo.

Moreover, if we trade either Brett Gardner, Chase Headley or - please, God, please, please, please - Jacoby Ellsbury, we can probably carve off some of their salaries, as well. With a little graft here and there, we could slide in under $200 million and get Hal's monkey off our backs. Then we can spend like hell next winter, when A-Rod and CC are memories (along with $46 million), and a far superior crop of free agent brisket is salted and ready for the smoker.

All we have to do is think about 2018. Nothing else. 2018.

This in no way suggests that I approve of Food Stamps' cheapness. The Steinbrenners have more money than any of the kids can count, yet they have chosen to accumulate more - rather than obsessively chase world championships, as their daddy did. That was George's legacy, and they pitched it overboard. Maybe in five years, if Hal makes a plan and sticks to it, there will be salvation - even forgiveness - within the Yankiverse. But right now, all we're watching is one of the richest families in the world wriggling to make more. And I can never divorce myself from the reality that even a site like this - that yells and screams at them - only adds to their portfolios, at the end of the day. When you're selling tradition, all attention is good.

So... let's hope the team can screw Didi and Dellin in arbitration, and then trade the virtuous and loyal Brett Gardner! That way, we can "afford" a veteran DH, such as Carlos Beltran or Steve Pearce. Two hundred million... here we come!


John M said...

And if we don't sign Chapman or Beltran/Beltran Equivalent, even more savings accrue! So Hal could replace the 24K button he lost from his double-breasted jacket when he was wailing over Flo's death.

The real loss, of course, was Ron Glass. Maybe even more than Fritz Weaver. But Hal won't be losing any buttons over Ron, or over Abe Vigoda, for that matter. He's keeping an eye on the Mourning Tax threshold.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you John M. There will be more excuses after the new luxury tax reset to not spend more money. All this nonsensical BS about interest in this free agent or that free agent is all that it is...NONSENSE! Yankee hype-machine in action.