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We have given Brian Cashman a lot of flak about how he has run the Yankees in the last half dozen year or so. While I like the Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro deals, this is the first deal where I felt the Pinstripers were serious about winning again.
Everyone will be proclaiming them the best 1/2/3 knockout punch in late inning relief in the entire Majors. You will also hear a ton of things about Strikeout Rates – and historical Bullpens.
You will also hear a lot about player integrity and character. Since when do the Bronx Bombers ever care about whether a guy has some off field issues?
What I took out of yesterday’s deal is that the brass has given the green light to play ball in 2016.
With a payroll reaching $220 MIL now (easily payable with a team that makes as much as the Yankees), who cares if the team spends another $25 – $30 MIL after the Chapman deal?
When they were near the Luxury Tax Threshold, you could always say they are a move or 2 from getting under the mark, and a potential season that goes awry could be salvaged with a Luxury Tax reset.
At this point, you are not going to hit that button at all.
If you were a Yankees fan, you are almost hoping the guy is tagged for at least a 35 day suspension, so that he can not qualify for Free Agency after the year is up. Another year of Chapman is worth a 5 week penalty to start the year,
The MLB will likely give him between a 10 – 25 game suspension – and that last point will be moot, except just like the year long Alex Rodriguez ban, the club will receive some cap relief from it.
2016 represents the last year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the MLB and the MLBPA. I am sure that the new pact may include new rules on how suspended players will still count as dollars towards team payroll caps.
Among the other contract stipulations will be the Luxury Tax Threshold. The Yankees have been in 50% penalty land forever with the tax, and will pay 50% on the dollar for each Greenback paid over $189 MIL. As of this article, that would cost around $15 MIL already next campaign.
It sure will make the AL East that much more exciting in 2016. You have the Bullpen mixed in with a bunch of aging superstar Yanks, the electrifying offensive power club with Toronto, the Starting Pitching prowess of the Tampa Bay Rays, the International and Free Agent frenzied Boston Red Sox, and then the stand your ground Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees would never have been able to land Chapman if his contract weren’t up after 2016. You add in the domestic dispute, where other clubs like Washington and Los Angeles were sent running away, and it caused for a perfect storm for New York to land the guy.
No doubt the Yankees will extend Chapman a Qualifying Offer in 2016 (which may exceed $16 MIL) if he does end up hitting the Free Agency market with service time if the pending suspension isn’t longer than 34 days). For this, they would also net a compensatory pick back for him if he signs with another club.
I wrote an article with guys in their last year of team control last week. I believe almost any one of them could be destined for the Bronx this season.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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