The Rays’ payroll is $72 million and change. David Price, Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, the whole team bus. The payroll for the Yankee starting rotation, the original one, the one with the immortal Javy Vazquez in it?
That payroll is right around $65 million.
Just for the starting pitchers. If you want a little more context, that is about what Cincinnati spent this year on all the baseball players who finally put the Reds back in the postseason.
I wish every column and blog post scolding the Yankees for spending so much money on players was directed at Major League Baseball for setting up a system wherein the Yankees can spend so much money on players. The Yanks do exactly what they should do: They pump their ample ad, ticket, broadcasting and merchandising revenue back into the club to assure that they will continue reaping that money in the future.
And does anyone think Brian Cashman or the Steinbrenners cares that the Yankees have to spend $200-something million to the Rays’ $72 million? I mean, maybe they do, but both teams are playoff-bound. Yes, the Rays spent their payroll money more efficiently. But clearly the Bombers are just playing with a lot more money than every other team, so they can shoulder contracts like A.J. Burnett’s and Kei Igawa’s a lot more easily than the Rays could.
I guess the crux of Lupica’s column is that for $213 million, the Yanks shouldn’t have holes in their rotation. And maybe that’s fair. But the Yanks also have a deep and stacked lineup and the best record in the American League while playing in by far the best division in baseball. They’re doing something right.