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SBD/December 4, 2012/Franchises
Luxury Tax Threshold For '14 Has Yankees Tightening Things Up On Payroll
Published December 4, 2012
STILL TOP OF THE HEAP? USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale writes the Yankees have "become a poor man's version of the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates, working the edges of free agency and hoping to fill holes frugally." The club has not "signed a free agent outside of their organization this winter, bent on getting their payroll under $189 million by 2014." They used to "operate with an open bank vault, and now they're searching under couch cushions for loose change" (USA TODAY, 12/4). MLB Network’s Dan Plesac said, "We’re just not accustomed to them not being in on Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton. Whoever the big-ticket items were the last five, seven, 10 years, the Yankees were either in the middle of it or … they were lurking on the fringes. Right now, they’re taking a step backward” (“MLB Tonight,” MLB Network, 12/3).
BUILDING A WEST COAST POWER: In L.A., Bill Shaikin wrote the Dodgers go to the MLB Winter Meetings with their "newfound financial muscle so menacing that rival executives grudgingly suspect ... that the team is in on every available star." As the Yankees "tighten their belts ... the Dodgers can play Goliath." If the Dodgers sign Greinke, they "could have four players earning $20 million next season." And, less than "one year removed from bankruptcy, this is astonishing: They could miss on Greinke and still field the first $200-million payroll in National League history" (L.A. TIMES, 12/3). ESPN's Karl Ravech said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti "has seen his world turn upside down, in a good way." Under Frank McCourt's ownership, there "wasn’t a lot of money to spend, and now it seems like there’s an endless supply." There is a "huge television deal coming" to the team, which "allows them to spend a lot more money." People are now comparing the Dodgers to the Yankees, but the "seemingly apparent outward difference is the Dodgers kind of brag about it, they make no secret that, 'We have money, we’re in on everybody. We’ll spend it.'" That is something the Yankees "didn’t always do” (“Baseball Tonight,” ESPN2, 12/4).