The state of New York baseball

Did you hear about the team in New York that won’t spend any money despite being in the nation’s number one market? Boy are their fans ticked off about it, too. It wasn’t too long ago that they were a financial powerhouse and now they are afraid to go into the free agent market for long-term contracts. There’s talk they will be lucky to finish above fourth place in their division, too.

This is (somewhat) old news for Mets fans but it’s entirely new territory for Yankees fans. Yes, the above paragraph was written about the Yankees. While Mets fans bitch and moan about the club’s lack of moves in the offseason, let’s take a minute to look at that team from the Bronx. Did you know that the Mets have committed to pay more money this offseason than the Yankees? Let’s compare the two squads.

Mets – Signed David Wright to a $138 million contract and picked up John Buck’s $6 million tab.
Yankees – Re-signed Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki and picked up Kevin Youkilis. All except Suzuki on one-year deals while he signed for 2/$13 million.

The total expenditure of big ticket contracts the Yankees signed this year adds up to $62 million, less than half what the Mets committed to with Wright.

According to Cot’s the Yankees payroll for 2013 stands at $201+ million with at least nine spots to fill. Barring a late winter change of plans, they go into Spring Training with Francisco Cervelli as their starting catcher and Eduardo Nunez as their starting DH. Their big offseason acquisition was Youkilis, who hopes to rebound from a 99 OPS+ year.

The Mets are pointing to 2014, when they hope to compete with a staff fronted by young aces Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese and Zack Wheeler, with promising youngsters like Michael Fulmer and Noah Syndergaard a step away in the high minors. Meanwhile the Yankees are pointing to 2014, too. Their goal for that season is to cut payroll to $189 million to avoid the luxury tax threshold.

The Mets moved towards their 2014 goal by releasing Jason Bay, acquiring Travis d’Arnaud and refusing to deal Wheeler. The Yankees moved to their 2014 goal by cutting ties with Russell Martin and Nick Swisher while shunning anyone who could help who wanted more than two years.

Currently, the Yankees have over $81 million committed to just four players in 2014. One of those is Alex Rodriguez, who may or may not contribute much on the field and certainly will not be worth the $26 million he will be paid. Mark Teixeira is unlikely to be worth the $23.125 million he’ll be pulling down, either.

Still, they’ll have CC Sabathia and nearly $110 million, so no one should feel too sorry for them. However, as a Mets fan it’s nice to hear about the other New York team embarking on a belt-tightening program. And maybe in 2014, the Mets will win more games than the Yankees for the first time since the year 2000.

9 comments for “The state of New York baseball

  1. David Groveman
    January 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

    A very well written and poignant post

  2. Jonathan
    January 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

    The disheartening thing is that for the first time in my lifetime, the Yankees have an owner who is more interested in making money than winning. Fans of other teams are used to this but Yankees fans aren’t. The Steinbrenner family just raked in half a BILLION dollars selling a minority stake in YES to Fox Sports and they are worried about a luxury tax penalty in 2014? Whatever your feelings about George, you always knew that if he were given a choice between turning a profit and winning the World Series, he’d chose the Series victory every time.

    • January 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

      The NY Times on Hal Steinbrenner

      He also acknowledged that, unlike his father, he is more committed to staying competitive in the framework of a less elastic budget.

      “I’m a finance geek,” he said. “I guess I always have been. That’s my background. Budgets matter, and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player-development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You don’t. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.”

      • January 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm

        He can keep feeling that way until the fans revolt because they stop winning.

      • Jonathan
        January 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        “I just feel that if you do well on the player-development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. ”

        That’s the problem. We’ve never had good player development or a good farm system. Even during the last championship run all we had from within was the “Core Four”. The other 21 guys on the roster came from somewhere else which costs money.

        • J249
          January 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

          Idiot….Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Mariano, Williams and trades of their minor league players for people like O’Neill and others. how can you possibly complain

  3. Name
    January 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    The Yankees aren’t really cutting payroll. They are just now starting to be smart about signing long term contracts, and i appluad them for that.

    The part of the Mets spending more than them is highly misleading. The Mets are spending 138 over 8 years while the Yankees spent 55 million for next year, which is still tops this season. So to say they still aren’t a financial powerhouse is false.

  4. January 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    It’s hard to say the Mets are spending more, when they’re paying one guy long-term and the Yankes are spending on many different guys. With the mammoth holes on this team, especially in the outfield, they really need to catch lightning in a bottle. Best chance of that is giving lots of tiny deals and see who sticks.

  5. Metsense
    January 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Scott Hairston for 2 years @ 3M per year is apparently too much money. ??? On a contending team that isn’t a bad price for a 4th outfielder. On the Mets it is a good price for their “best” outfielder. 2 years of Hairston isn’t impeding any OF prospect because there are none. I don’t agree with this decision for the price.

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