If the Yankees actually do trim their payroll to $185 million, it will be a significant cut from this year’s spending, but it’s hard to call $185 million insufficient for a title defense. I generally don’t like comparing the Yankees’ payroll to that of other teams — it’s a good thing having owners who are willing to spend — but it’s worth noting that $185 million would still be significantly more than any other team spent this season. Almost $50 million more.
Basically, take baseball’s second-highest 2009 payroll and add Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and the mistake of Kei Igawa. That’s roughly $185 million. It’s enough to field a highly paid roster, plus two additional MVP candidates and still have enough to make up for a bad contract.
Cutting payroll to $185 million would to make it tough to replace or re-sign Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettitte, but it’s certainly enough to build a championship team. Is there really any way the Yankees are going to hold themselves to a different standard?
Let’s not forget that today’s reports of cutting payroll also came with a report that the Yankees will look into a trade for Roy Halladay. That’s doesn’t sound like a team that’s thinking small next season.