CHART: Are The Yankees Back To Their Free-Spending Ways?

Prior to last year’s jump to $US228.8 million, the Yankees payroll had stayed relatively stable for nearly a decade following almost two decades of unchecked growth.

Now, with the Yankees giving Jacoby Ellsbury a 7-year, $US153 million contract, many are now wondering if the Yankees will still try to keep their payroll under the $US189 million luxury tax level or if their are back to their free-spending ways (cont. below).

If we consider the 10 players currently under contract1, use the projected salaries for the five arbitration-eligible players (via, and assume they fill the remaining 10 positions with minimum-salary players, the Yankees’ 2014 payroll is now projected to be $US158 million.

Of course, if Alex Rodriguez is indeed suspended for the entire season and the Yankees can subtract his $US26 million salary, the projected payroll drops to just $US132 million and suddenly the luxury tax level seems more reasonable2.

1 Jacoby Ellsbury’s 2014 salary has yet to be reported so for the purpose of this post we used the average annual value of his contract.

2 MLB’s luxury tax is actually based on the average annual value of all contracts which will vary slightly from the 2014 payroll.

Data via

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