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Monday, November 4, 2013

Payroll: Yankees v. Red Sox

The top seeds in the tournament were the two teams in the finals: Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.  As predicted here two years ago the new two wild card format favors the one seed in each conference.  That's the objective in the regular season.  Next best: win your division.  Avoid the wild card.

The main competition for the division for the New York Yankees in the next few years will be the Boston Red Sox.  I used data in baseball-reference.com to create a spreadsheet to compare those two teams.  This is done in part to address the hysteria by some Yankee fans about the sensible objective, which I support, to get the team payroll in 2014 below the soft cap of $189 million.  Remember, in 2013 Boston spent $177 million and won.  If the Yankees get below the cap, then any subsequent spending over the cap will incur a luxury tax (extortion paid to teams in minor league cities) will start at 17%.  If the Yankees are over the cap, then the luxury tax is 50%.  Obviously, getting under the cap will let the Yankees spend more in subsequent years, current hysteria aside.

Click these links to view the source data:

Red Sox payroll

Yankees payroll

Click this link to view my data in millions of dollars.  Here it is for individuals:

Red Sox20142015201620172018201920202021
John Lackey$15.25FA
Jake Peavy$14.50FA
Ryan Dempster$13.25FA
Shane Victorino$13.00$13.00FA
Jon Lester$13.00FA
Dustin Pedroia$12.50$12.50$13.00$15.00$16.00$15.00$13.00$12.00
David Ortiz$11.00FA
Clay Buchholz$7.70$12.00FA
Jonny Gomes$5.00FA
Koji Uehara$5.00FA
Craig Breslow$3.83$0.10
David Ross$3.10FA
$117.13$37.60$13.00$15.00$16.00$15.00$13.00$12.00
Yankees2014201520162017
Alex Rodriguez$25.00$21.00$20.00$20.00
CC Sabathia$23.00$23.00$25.00$5.00
Mark Teixeira$22.50$22.50$22.50FA
Vernon Wells$12.00FA
Alfonso Soriano$18.00FA
Derek Jeter$12.00FA
Ichiro Suzuki$6.50FA
$119.00$66.5$67.5$25

Note: Lester and Jeter numbers taken from recent media reports.  I think the Sabathia $5 million in 2017 is a team buyout.

Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of it.  In some ways Boston seems to be stuck with bloated contracts in 2014: Lackey, Peavy, Dempster, Victorino.  But Boston seems to have good value in Lester, Pedroia, Ortiz, Buchholz.

The Yankees are stuck with Rodriguez, Sabathia, Teixeira not only in 2014 but through 2016 and with Rodriguez in 2017.  In 2014 the Yanks will also be wasting big money on Wells, Soriano, Suzuki and who know what they will get from Jeter but it's a safe bet that it will not be twelve million dollars worth.  Rodriguez has established a very UNenhanced performance level since 2010 and that's the most that Yankee fans can hope for.  Sabathia, of course, must adapt to his reduced ability and learn to win with less.  Teixeira must recover from a bad wrist injury, not a sure thing.

And the Yankees must pay arbitration 3 players David Robertson and Brett Gardner in 2014.

Except for Rodriguez the team commitments are about even in 2015.

Finally, the elephant not in the room is Robinson Cano who is the top free agent this off season.  Cano was paid $15 million is 2013.  See post:

Thursday, July 11, 2013  Cano isn't worth a huge contract.

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