Jan. 9 Yankees payroll analysis -- Does Pettitte still fit in?

2:55 PM

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I'll go ahead and spoil the ending by answering the question up front: Yes, there is still room on the Yankees' 2009 payroll for Andy Pettitte. They can still sign him (assuming he's willing to sign for their $10M price) and project a payroll slightly less than last year's.

However, as Brian Cashman said earlier this week at the Mark Teixeira press conference, it's become more complicated since Teixeira signed.

Currently, the Yankees have 14 players signed to 2009 major-league deals that project to be on their 25-man roster. Those contracts total $190.15 million. This is the breakdown:

-Alex Rodriguez, $32 million (Yeah. It starts going up now.)
-CC Sabathia, $23 million (Includes his $9M signing bonus, all of which is due by July 31).
-Mark Teixeira, $22.5 million (Includes half of his $5M signing bonus).
-Derek Jeter, $20 million (Remember him? Now the team's 4th-highest paid player).
-A.J. Burnett, $16.5 million (Yes, even if he's hurt).
-Mariano Rivera, $15 million (First guy here who seems underpaid?)
-Jorge Posada, $13.1 million (for three more years).
-Johnny Damon, $13 million (Can you believe this deal is up already?)
-Hideki Matsui, $13 million (This one too, though it may have gone on too long).
-Nick Swisher, $5.3 million (Assuming they don't trade him by Opening Day).
-Chien-Ming Wang, $5 million (President of the Underpaid Club).
-Damaso Marte, $3.75 million (There's nothing snappy to say about him).
-Robinson Cano, $6 million (Good deal if 08 was a fluke).
-Jose Molina, $2 million (Yeah, it was a two-year deal. I forgot too).

Add to that Xavier Nady, who projects to make at least $5 million or $6 million in arbitration (though is more likely than Swisher to get dealt before April), and it goes to $196.15 million for 15 players. Add to that a collection of Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain/Melky Cabrera types who don't make any real money yet, and you can tack on about another $5 million.

So they can pay Pettitte $10 million, if he'll take it, and get to $211.15 million, which would be right around where they'd want to stop.

Now, if Pettitte doesn't take their money (and really, he's nuts not to have taken it already in this pitiful market), there are some things they could do.

-Keep both Nady and Swisher, using the latter as a "super-utility" player who can play first base and all three OF positions. My hunch: He'd end up the regular center fielder once Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner prove they can't hack it.

-Revive the Mike Cameron trade. Contrary to some reports, neither side has fully closed the door on this. At the time of the Teixeira signing, the Yankees' message to the Brewers was that they'd have to move some other things around if they were to bring on Cameron and his $10 million salary. And the sides still never agreed on how much of that salary the Brewers should pay as part of the deal, or whether they'd take Kei Igawa and his $4 million annual salary in return. So there'd be a lot of work to be done on this, but Cameron remains a guy the Yankees can imagine in center field -- especially if they were to trade Nady, bid Pettitte good-bye and go with Hughes as the No. 5 starter.

-Jump in late on Derek Lowe. They did like him earlier in the off-season. And if he's not being offered any more than $14 million per year by the Mets or Braves, the Yankees could decide that they'd rather have him than Pettitte and deal Nady to make up the difference. This is speculation on my part. The Yankee people I talk to say they're not in on Lowe at all. But that's what they were telling me about Teixeira a week before he signed, too.

-Reduce ticket prices. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. Good one.

1 Response to "Jan. 9 Yankees payroll analysis -- Does Pettitte still fit in?"

johnnyss said :
January 18, 2009 at 4:44 PM
finally, an expert agree with my thinking that the yanks are going to need swisher and nady. my preference would be to dh damon, allow nady to play left and swisher in right. melky is fine defensively, but terrible with the stick. nady, damon, and matsui come off the books next year. what then? you dont know if austin jackson will be ready. maybe its time to use some of that pitching to get a young outfielder who's under control for a few years. but the yanks are making a mistake deeming one of the nady/swisher tandem unnecessary and needing to be dealt.big mistake.

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