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Alex Rodriguez Suspension Allows the New York Yankees to Be Under the $189 Million Threshold for Now

January 16th, 2014 at 1:00 AM
By Karen Vankat

The New York Yankees win in a number of ways with baseball arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's decision in the Alex Rodriguez case.

'Alex Rodriguez' photo (c) 2007, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The historic suspension in violations of the Joint Drug Agreement  calls for Rodriguez to miss 162-games including the post season finally gives the Yankees some answers to some needed questions.

First, A-Rod's $25 million salary for 2014, which is forfeited, will not be counted toward the luxury tax threshold. Currently, the Yankees will have roughly $149 million committed to 13 players signed. New York will have to figure in raises to arbitration-eligible players, plus the signing of non-arbitration players and benefits. According to MLB network and after all that is figured in the Yankees' payroll should be around $184.3 million.

'Eagles - Back' photo (c) 2008, ElCapitanBSC - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Second, let's look how this possibly effects a deal for Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The consensus among baseball is the Tanaka deal will be roughly over the $100 million mark for at least six years. The average salary of a player regardless of back-loading  a contract applies to the threshold. Example would be says Tanaka signs for $100 million over six years, that comes to $16.67 million per year which would put New York over the threshold.

Hal Steinbrenner has been quoted numerous times that the $189 threshold is a goal not a mandate if it is at the expense of fielding a championship club.

Believe me if the New York Yankees can secure Tanaka a 25 year old for a majority of his prime years Hal wouldn't mind going over the $189 mark.

The Los Angeles Dodger signed their ace Clayton Kershaw to a 7-year deal worth $217 million, but it is not known if that takes them out of the Tanaka sweepstakes or not. The rumor is Tanaka's wife would like to be on the west coast closer to Japan. Whether that is a strong enough reason to not sign with the Yankees has to be seen.

The third answer needs to be like who's on third is more of a question at this point with a multiple options. The Yankees could platoon right now with lefty Kelly Johnson and one of their right-handed infielders. There has been talk the Yankees are looking at San Diego Padres Chase Headley or possibly Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez as a solution. Knowing general manager Brian Cashman once the A-Rod ruling came down the phone lines were burning up around MLB clubs to see who was available.

With Spring Training six weeks away the Yankees should have most of the answers they are looking before camp breaks in Tampa.

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Baseball, Masahiro Tanaka, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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