The two biggest free agents in baseball this off-season, Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, would both represent significant upgrades for the Yankees. But thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, the Yankees are not involved in the bidding. And they may not bid on big free agents again until 2015.
In order to avoid a 50% tax on their payroll, the Yankees must drop their payroll below $189 million by 2014. If they can do that, they would only be taxed 17.5% in 2015, even if they go back above $189 million. And the 2015 free agent class is expected to be very strong, with players like Justin Verlander.
And that means the Yankees must curb their spending. Below is a look at the opening day payroll for the Yankees since 1987. And as you can see, they have slowed the spending in recent years. But they are still above the magic threshold of $189 million…
Data via USAToday.com