BREAKING: The Yankees spend a lot of money on players

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.

Mike Lupica, N.Y. Daily News.

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.

7 thoughts on “BREAKING: The Yankees spend a lot of money on players

  1. I have no problem with the Yankees payroll, the way I see it, it simply allows for more wiggle room when mistakes are made.
    Every General Manager and every teams makes mistakes or takes on long term contract to help them in the current term and for the Yankees it allows for 3 or 5 or 8 mistakes and still compete.

    In fact, I don’t even have a problem with the Yankees, a lot of their players are awesome. What I find annoying are those dirty disgusting and poisonous Yankee fans who make sure to spit out their venom and express a sort of pain and struggle on the journey to the team winning. It would be as if Jennie Finch does what she does, which is be awesome, only on a beer league softball team, and get fired up like Joba Chamberlain does.

  2. That is the amazing thing about it, how themoney can cover up mistakes.

    I mean when people write about the Mets, a big payroll in itself, its always talked about how the contracts of Castillo, and Perez with hamper the team and make it hard to spend etc.

    Yet the Yanks just swallow huge contracts whole without as much of a speedbump in the overall plan.

    I mean look at AJ Burnett, hes a disaster, making 18M the next 3 years, but you never hear a word about how it might negatively effect the team going forward. $18M on a useless pitcher and its like, oh well, we’ll just sign Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford.

    If that was the Mets or anyother team for that matter, that $18M would be crippling.

      • And Igawa’s salary isn’t included when you read about the Yankee’s payroll because they took him off the 40-man roster years ago. Nor is the $26m posting fee included.

  3. Other people are seizing on this, but it’s not even just that the Yankees can afford to cover mistakes, it’s that they know they can make a mistake *even as they’re making it.* They might say “well, this seems like a lot of money for Kei Igawa, and it may not work out, but with our budget that’s not really a problem. The Rays really need to balance those priorities.

    As a result, the Yankees never have to walk away from the table just because a player is asking for too much money. If they want a guy, they can get him. Part of what that means, by definition, is that they will get almost no bargains–nearly every player they sign as a free agent will be getting the very most that player could possibly get.

    That means, among other things, that there’s no need to take a gamble on a Carlos Pena* when you can just sign a Mark Teixeira. They don’t need to put the extra time and effort into finding great deals. It’s like how Derek Jeter doesn’t need to go to Goodwill every day waiting for an awesome shirt to show up–he can just order one from Gucci or Prada. If it doesn’t fit right, no big deal.

    So basically, while the Yankees appear to spend money inefficiently relative to the Rays’ budget, they spend money appropriately relative to their own budget. And if you switched the two front offices, I wouldn’t be surprised to see very little change.

    The Mets, of course, manage to throw money not just at the Gucci shirt, but also at a solid gold toilet MC Hammer style. The Yankees aren’t idiots, they’re just unconstrained. The Mets, unfortunately, are idiots.

    *I know he was briefly in the Bronx before Tampa, but he didn’t exactly get a serious look

  4. I hate it when Mets fans start spouting off about the Yanks payroll. The Mets have almost the same resources and yet have a minuscule fraction of the same success. A level playing field would likely mean Royals-like performance for years out of the Mets due to their sheer incompetence and rotten luck over the years

    • The Mets may share the same city and population but the Yankees payroll is on another level. Their brand is strong and has a presence everywhere. It’s not even fair to compare the two.
      That doesn’t excuse the stupid moves that leave me shaking my head.

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