One part of the Yankees' incentive to get their payroll under the new CBA's limitations may not be as attainable as they thought.
In the comments section of this morning's news, bango31 posted an excerpt from MLB Trade Rumors that mentioned the Yankees' front office attributing their lack of moves this offseason to the players available instead of looking forward to 2014's bottom line. It's reasonable to be a bit skeptical of that, as some players that could have been had on a bargain seemed to be completely off the Yankees' radar from the beginning, and why would that be the case if they weren't focused on keeping to deals that would allow their payroll to stay under $189 million dollars next year. However, the latest news is that the Yankees may not be in for as much of a financial relief as they originally thought, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Yes, the team would reduce their luxury tax rate to 17.5% from a possible 50% by getting under the $189 million dollar limit for one year and resetting their penalties. The other goal of the move was to take advantage of a new market-disqualification revenue-sharing program that would redistribute money from the 15 largest market teams to teams forced to pay out like the Yankees. The idea behind it was to encourage large market teams that may not be spending money like they could in favor of receiving revenue-sharing to actually open their pocket books for their team. With the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, and others poised to have a higher payroll next season, the idea behind this specific portion of the CBA seems to be working as planned. However, those teams actually doing what they are supposed to do means less money that could potentially end up back in the Yankees' pockets.
If the team realizes that they may not end up with as much financial relief as they thought, could they be willing to just scrap the plan all together? A potential 50% luxury tax penalty is incredibly high, and the team would be smart to do everything they can to avoid throwing that extra money away, but would the money saved be worth it if they field a team that fails to be competitive? I don't think the goal of $189 million is a myth, but I do think it could easily be thrown out and forgotten if the front office doesn't see enough monetary benefit from suddenly needing to pinch their pennies.