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The Yankees can afford to sign both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado



(Keith Allison)

When Brian Cashman described the Yankees as a "fully functioning Death Star" during the winter meetings, he did not lie: the team's talented young team is fresh from a 100-win season and back to season -Auftritten. If you consider the purchase of the often dominant James Paxton and the rumor that the Yankees are the front runners of 26-year-old superstar Manny Machado, you would apologize if you believe him. However, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that the Yankees have been operating for less than their full financial capacity, their biggest competitive advantage, adding both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and still reinvesting less revenue into their players' salaries than they did in the past decade ,

Brett Borzelli of Pinstripe Alley recently presented a very ingenious analysis of the team's financial situation and its impact on the entire league on the basis of some newly published data. You should read the entire article and the underlying data yourself, but I think it is important to highlight three important points:

1

. The team payroll has decreased: The Yankees paid their players $ 226.2 million in 2004, and they remained relatively stable (in real terms, not inflation-adjusted) until they plummeted to $ 193 million last year.

2. Team revenues have increased: In 2004, the Yankees generated $ 264 million in revenue. This number rose to $ 375 million in 2008 and reached approximately $ 620 million in 2017. Based on the league's revenue, audience and overall performance, it's a safe bet that sales have risen again in the past year.

3. Therefore, the Yankees invest less in the team than at any point in the last two decades: The best way to consider team expenses is the percentage of total revenue, and after that By default, the Yankees are clearly failing. The 2004 team invested around 85 percent of its revenue in player salaries, while the 2018, based on some rough calculations, reinvested less than 30 percent, even less than the Tampa Bay Rays.

If the Yankees had simply maintained the 2004 salary base and remained constant, they would have paid $ 300 million in 2017. Had they maintained the same ratio of revenue and salaries as this year (85 percent), they would have more than doubled in 2018 to $ 526 million. In this context, the Jacoby Ellsbury albatross and the Alex Rodriguez expansion were far less financially inhibitive than we often think.

But instead, the Yankees of 2017 came out of nowhere to enter Game 7 of the ALCS A salary of $ 50 million from 2017 to 2018, taking into account the team's luxury tax penalty. The high-profile acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton and his $ 325 million ten-year contract, which is, incidentally, lower than its value and likely to be a financial asset to the Yankees over the course of the deal – obscured This is in the eyes of many fans and analysts, but the fact remains the same: the Yankees saved $ 50 million in player salaries last year.

A well-orchestrated public relations campaign by Hal Steinbrenner and other team managers helped make a narrative The Yankees are "still the Yankees" and will spend "whenever they need it," but "they do not need $ 200 million, in order to win." Some variations of this savings platform have been used for at least the past five years. Although the team suffered some generation talents passing by.

Consider the 2014/15 season, when the Yankees did not even consider adding to Max Scherzer – the kind of pitcher we always hear because the Yankees "need" his contractual demands were not "realistic" under the financial framework of the team. Team president Randy Levine was characteristically blunt at the time: "The odds of bringing a man for six (19459020) and $ 25 million or more are next to nothing, in my opinion." This philosophy applies to varying degrees to other top names -of-the-rotation talents include Jon Lester, David Price, Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. (It even referred to the decision not to sign Yoan Moncada when the farm system starved for talent.)

The decision not to pursue Scherzer – by the way, has a 2.71 ERA (156 ERA +) and 11K / 9 in 878.1 innings since signing with Washington – is clearly the most fearful, but it's far from the only notable decision. In August 2017, the Yankees reportedly discussed Justin Verlander with the Tigers, but not in a serious way, as they said, according to Buster Olney (Subs reqd) "[him]but had to surrender it for renunciation did not have the flexibility of payroll that you could spend. "Verlander, of course, eliminated the Yankees this October alone, and in 214 innings last season, received a calling of 2.52 flexibility in payroll to do what they want and actively choose There is no indication that this postseason will be any different: The Yankees are still beating the austerity drum, they passed on Patrick Corbin and did not even make an offer because the two parties were so financially so far apart And in the Manny Machado sweepstakes it's been reported for a long time that the Yankees will offer him no contract worth $ 300 million or more – if Machado, who allegedly prefers the Bronx, really wants to be a Yankee, he has to accept less guaranteed money, and his superstar free agent counterpart in Bryce Harper, who is also believed to favor the Bronx, is likely to ch be in the same boat.

But the Yankees can afford to pay for both. Suppose both receive $ 35 million a year, which is the best they have come to expect. This would increase the payroll by $ 70 million and rise to $ 260 million before adding more support and another bullpen arm. Assuming that the final payroll is between $ 280 and $ 90 million, they would pay about $ 14 million in luxury tax. The wage bill would amount to $ 294 to $ 304 million, around the inflation-adjusted wage bill of 2004 (and a fraction of that) the turnover of the team that has since increased). There is even enough flexibility for future salary increases for domestic stars to consider the Yankees.

Much may change over the course of a few weeks (here's the part of the article in which I want to address Bubba Crosby and Mark Teixeira), but it's highly unlikely that they will sign both Superstars, even if there is not a single compelling one Baseball reason is not to do this. However, there is no excuse, neither financially nor otherwise, not to add at least one of the two superstars that are not yet completed. In other words, the next few weeks serve as a litmus test for New York's New Yorker Yankees: is the organization more interested in their bottom line than in producing the best possible on-field product? I still think Manny Machado lands in pinstripes, but that may just be wishful thinking: a survey of the team's financial data and the latest measures does not really inspire confidence.


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