Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Yankees have about $14 million to spend between now and next September

Everyone knew the downside to Giancarlo: Six outfielders for five slots, and the one you want to deal is as movable as the Washington Monument. Assuming he okays a trade - he hasn't yet - the Yanks would have to pay down most of Jacoby Ellsbury's $22 million per year contract and deal him for one of J-Lo's cabana boys. And if nobody takes Ellsbury - if he is forever tethered to the Yankees like Roy Moore is to sock hops - somebody else must go, and, gulp, that somebody would probably be Brett Gardner.

I hate this. We all do. Gardy is a home-grown Yank, a fine lead-off hitter, a great fielder and a fucking lug nut. Why would we trade him? Because Giancarlo is going to play LF, that's why. Gardy will make $13 million this season, the final year of his Yankee contract. Then he'll be gone, folks. Cashman won't be giving him a two- or three-year deal, which is what - at 34 - he'll seek. He almost surely will not be a lifelong Yankee, but he could return at the end like Murcer.

In the past, Cashman has badmouthed trade talks about Gardner, saying the Yankees value him far more than other teams have offered. If they salary-dump him, it won't get better. They might receive prospects along the lines of Brian McCann, which would be fine, as long as they don't face Gardy in the post-season, like they did McCann.

But as they now carry the weight of Stanton's contract, the Yankees desperately need cheap young stars to fill in the cracks. That's Glyber Torres at 2B, Miguel Andujar at 3B (forget trading Headley and his $13 million) and Chance Adams in the rotation. (ALL WE ARE SAYING, IS GIVE CHANCE A PIECE! ALL WE SAYING, IS GIVE CHANCE A PIECE...) But that logjam remains in the outfield, with Aaron Hicks ($1.3 million), Clint Frazier, Jake Cave and Billy McKinney (all the $5 per hour minimum wage, plus tips.) Of this group, Frazier is by far the most tradeable - Oakland wants him - and the Yankees could swap him, a la' Jesus Montero, for a young arm. But it won't solve the Stantonian financial pinch: Between now and September, only $14 million to spend, or go over the luxury tax threshold.

Of course, this is no "luxury tax threshold." It's a de facto salary cap, a financial straight-jacket imposed by MLB and agreed-upon by Tony Clark, the Players Union stooge. The Yankees are longtime luxury tax offenders, but future penalties will become excessive. If the Yankees continue to go over the "threshold," they will not only pay 95 cents on the dollar in taxes, but lose draft picks and international slot spending money. And if they don't make it this year, once Stanton's full contract kicks in, they're goners. That great capitalistic, old money, white man monopoly called Major League Baseball is run by stone-cold Marxists. But that's how it is. 

So... unless we dump Ellsbury or trade Gardy, we have $14 million - stems and seeds - to spend over the rest of the season. That's why the California Angels are now talking to CC Sabathia; the $12 million he'll demand is suddenly outside of our checkbook. The Yankees don't want to find themselves at the Aug. 1 trade deadline in desperate need of - say - a catcher, without any money to spend. So - once again -here are the options. (Spoiler alert: they all suck.)

1. Trade Ellsbury plus - say - $10 million for a low-level, lottery ticket prospect. That would free up $12 million to sign a pitcher. 

2. Trade Clint Frazier (and probably another decent prospect) for a young and cheap pitcher. Thinking along the lines of a Pineda or an Eovaldi. 

3. Trade Gardner for a couple middling prospects. That would free up $13 million to sign a pitcher.

3. Do nothing. Send Frazier, Cave and McKinney back to Scranton - where they'll wait for injuries to happen - and give Chance a piece. ALL WE ARE SAYING... IS GIVE CHANCE A PIECE...


Local Bargain Jerk said...

I have to think that #1 and the first #3 are already in motion. They will come to be seen as an integral part of the Stanton deal.

I hope that #2 does not come to pass. It's the sort of thing I feared would be part of the Stanton deal. Pineda and Eovaldi, the two pitchers you gave as a "for instances", painfully illustrate how bad this option could be.

I would be ok with the second #3 on the list. I'd also be ok with #1 and the first #3.

My $0.02.

13bit said...

"as they now carry the weight of Stanton's contract"

"Hey Joe, HOW long is that contract?"

"Oh, hey, Bob, that contract is SO long that your mama can't fit both of her hands around it...."

KD said...

Option #1 sucks?

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is the new name of the Tampa affiliate "The Tampa Tarpons" one of the worst names ever? How do they not become the Tampa Tampons in people's minds? Was there no one in their organization that could see that?

As to the topic... Gritty, gutty, Brett Gardner sadly might have to go. Jacoby will be a $22 Million Dollar pinch runner until he blows out a hamstring. Eventually they will have to just release him and eat the money a la A-Rod.

This too shall pass.

Doug K.

Alphonso said...

As you know, I have always lived with the fear that Clint Frazier is our next Jay Buhner.

Please prove me wrong (again).

But that is the danger in all of this giddiness. One of the dangers.

On the pitching side, ( and as someone else has stated), if we score 8 runs a game, maybe Chance Adams is all we need as an additional arm.

Keep Clint safe.

Anonymous said...

Headley gone San Diego paying the entire 13million

Anonymous said...

The Gwinnett Braves recently became the "Gwinnett Stripers"-- as in men who fish for striped bass. Unfortunately, it's tough not to see the new name as the "Gwinnett Strippers"-- as in women who fish for stupid men.

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