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Monday, May 21, 2012

Yankee Regression Could Last a While

Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The New York Yankees have money to throw around, obviously. The "Bronx Bombers" have the highest payroll in the major leagues on a yearly basis, annually reaching $200 million, but two bad contracts could cause the regression they're in to last a while.

The first is that of 36 year old Alex Rodriguez, who is due $29 million this season and will still make $20 million four years from now, in his 40 year old season.

The Yanks have long thought that A-Rod would continue to be a productive player throughout the length of his contract, maybe not the full length, but most of it. In 2012, the active leader in homeruns has looked nothing of the sort, with a huge drop off in power.

With just 5 HR, 4 doubles and a slugging percentage .150 points lower than his career average (.410), Rodriguez is on pace to hit just over 20 HR and 16 doubles. Hardly the offense expected of a $30 million man.

There's a good chance that the third baseman gets hot at some point and puts a decent charge in his numbers, but one thing remains clear, he's in the latter end of a historic career and the Yankees made a mistake signing him through his 40 year season.

A-Rod's not the only one the Yanks will be wishing they hadn't given so many years to. Mark Teixeira, at 32, is also headed for the wrong end of his prime, yet he'll make $22.5 million in the 2016 season, when the first baseman will likely be a shell of his former self.

Historically a slow starter, there's a chance that Tex's 5 HR, 20 RBI and measly .669 OPS will rise this year but come 2016 what's he gonna have left in the tank?

The Yank's will also have C.C. Sabathia's $23 million on the payroll until the end of 2015, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. At 31 and still producing at a high level, his contract will likely be the least regrettable of the three, but there's still a good chance the big lefty experiences some drop in production.

With the Yankees saying in the offseason they expect to be under the $189 million threshold by 2014, that means they will have more than a third of their payroll wrapped up in past their prime veterans come 2015.

The Red Sox have learned their lesson regarding overpaid free agents. With something like $80 million wrapped up on the disabled list in 2012, the Sox have been "handicapped" from the start of the season. It appears the Yankees will learn the same lesson in the next couple years.

Even a club with the funds the Yankees possess will feel the effects of such ridiculous contracts at some point. I wonder if Brian Cashman jumps ship in the next couple years when the shit gets deep?

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