SBD/October 1, 2013/Franchises

Yankees Facing Tough Offseason Decisions Amid Ownership Push To Lower Payroll

Rodriguez, Sabathia and Teixeira (l to r) are each owed more than $20M annually
As Yankees ownership seeks to get team payroll below next year’s $189M luxury tax threshold, "even with all of the money coming off the books this winter -- they have just $90 million in commitments to 2014, vs. nearly $230 million this season -- they’re still a long way from ruling the American League East again," according to John Tomase of the BOSTON HERALD. The team is "financially hamstrung by some of the worst contracts in the game," with 3B Alex Rodriguez, 1B Mark Teixeira and P CC Sabathia "each owed more than $20 million annually over the next three seasons." The Yankees also field "one of the oldest rosters in baseball." All 11 Yankees making $10M or more per year "are 30 or older" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/29). In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes the Yankees, for "all the caricatures of George Steinbrenner’s firing squad, have been mainly an insular group." Sherman: "Will the lack of young talent motivate them to try to reach into an organization that drafts and develops well -- such as the Cardinals -- to make a significant hire or two to restructure how this business is done?" (N.Y. POST, 9/30).

UPHILL BATTLE
: In N.Y., Benjamin Hoffman writes it is Yankees GM Brian Cashman's "task to figure out what to do next," and he will have "considerable flexibility in creating" next season's team. But the Yankees' "tendency to buy the best talent available every season has created an environment in which every other team seems eager to sign its own players to large contract extensions before they become free agents" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/29). In New Jersey, Bob Klapisch noted Cashman "won’t say if the next three months will be the most challenging of his career, but it doesn’t take a deep appreciation of the Yankees’ predicament to know it’s going to be a doozy of an off-season." If there is "any consolation for Cashman, it’s that George Steinbrenner isn’t around to make his life miserable." Cashman is "essentially handcuffed, although that won’t slow down critics who say the Yankees should’ve been better prepared for this potential dark age" (Bergen RECORD, 9/29).
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