Apparently the recession is finally hitting the Bronx Bombers. After spending $429 million last season for four players, the Yankees are not willing to match that number for next season. Yesterday, the Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he won’t meet with the Steinbrenner’s until next week to discuss the payroll, but that regardless, he isn’t going to spend nearly as much as last year.
Cashman didn’t say that he would totally curb spending this offseason. Even though they won the world series, there are still significant holes in the rotation, bullpen and lineup that must be filled. After speaking with the Steinbrenner’s next week, Cashman will decide whether to bring Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui back and what bullpen changes can be made. They are also waiting to hear from Andy Pettitte on whether he’ll return next year.
With the notion that the Yankees are cutting spending for next season, I pose two questions: 1) Will the fact that the Yankees won’t be in contention for every top free agent lower the numbers on collective free agent deals and 2) Will the Yankees be involved in the Halladay sweepstakes if they are cutting spending?
- I imagine that while the Yankees won’t be in contention for every top free agent, their name will still surface for many of them. The threat of the Yankees coveting a free agent might seem like it would raise the price of that particular free agent because teams will think they need to spend more. However, unless it is a big name free agent and a bidding war ensues between the Yankees and another big market club, it is unlikely that the Yankees will have that much of an affect on free agency this offseason, by not going after as many players.
- I do think that by curbing spending it will hurt their chances on obtaining Roy Halladay. With virtually all big market clubs mentioned in rumors for Halladay, he figures to be one of the most coveted offseason non-free-agents in some time. Without the Yankees sign-at-all-costs approach that they took last season, it is unlikely the Yankees will land Halladay.
What this means is that at least for one offseason, many clubs around MLB have a fighting chance of signing the number one free agent or making a trade for the number one signed player on their list.