Monday, December 17, 2012

The Dodgers of the East: the New York Yankees

The Dodgers of the East: the New York Yankees

For those who are friends with Yankee fans, as I am, to you I wish my deepest apologies.  It’s difficult to win an argument with a person when they drop the famous line, “THEY’VE WON THE MOST WORLD SERIES EVER!”

Then the conversation takes a turn and the issue of money comes up, something the Yankees teams of the past had no problem spending.  

Well, now the spending has gone west.  The Dodgers have taken on every bad Red Sox contract and have signed the top free agent starting pitcher in Zach Greinke for nearly $150 million.  The Angels meanwhile have signed Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson, and Josh Hamilton in the past two off seasons

The Yankee fans who so proudly fought for their team now are saying the team is not exactly a high spender because they are trying to go under $189 million for their payroll so they can avoid the luxury tax.

Here is an conversation I had with a friend (and Yankee fan) on Twitter.

“Friend”: For everyone that says the Yankees “buy” the World Series, look at what’s going on in Los Angeles
Me: Angels still below luxury tax limit.  Yankees not quite so.  Dodgers are crazy
Me: Yankees hit with $18.9 million luxury tax, 10th straight year they’ll pay a penalty for spending...
“Friend”: I don’t care they are still gonna be better than your Twins and Dbacks
Me: That’s not the point.  Talking about what’s going on with the Angels is a Yankee move
“Friend”: You need to settle down Peter Gammons it’s A Rods fault
Me: Or Yankee management for giving into him? Nah, it’s A-Rod’s fault
*End of Conversation*

This conversation led me to do a quick, simple study about the Yankees payroll.

The first simple study is the team’s payroll and where it ranks compared to other MLB teams (in parenthesis) and how much they paid per win in the past decade. The payroll data is courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

2012: $209, 792, 900 (1); $2, 208, 346.32/win
2011: $207, 047, 964 (1); $2, 134, 515.09/win
2010: $213, 359, 389 (1); $2, 245, 888.31/win
2009: $201, 449, 189 (1); $1, 955, 817.37/win
2008: $209, 081, 577 (1); $2, 349, 231.20/win
2007: $189, 639, 045 (1); $2, 017, 436.65/win
2006: $194, 663, 045 (1); $2, 006, 835.52/win
2005: $208, 306, 817 (1); $2, 192, 703.34/win
2004: $184, 193, 950 (1); $1, 823, 702.48/win
2003: $152, 749, 814 (1); $1, 512, 374.40/win
2002: $125, 928, 583 (1); $1, 222, 607.60/win

That’s a lot per win when teams like the Rays have recently shown that being in the playoffs is possible on a much smaller budget.

The second study is a look at the richest contracts in baseball history.  Taking the top 50 contracts let’s see how many of them have been paid at some point by the Bronx Bombers.

1. Alex Rodriguez: $275, 000, 000
2. Alex Rodriguez: $252, 000, 000
6. Derek Jeter: $189, 000, 000
8. Mark Teixeira: $180, 000, 000
9. CC Sabathia: $161, 000, 000
28. CC Sabathia: $122, 000, 000
30. Jason Giambi: 121, 000, 000
42. Ichiro Suzuki: $90, 000, 000 (mostly paid by Mariners)

If there is one thing we can learn from this, the Yankees have no problem spending money.  With them deciding to cut down payroll though, could this mean the Steinbrenner family is ready to sell the team?  

Only time will tell.

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