The New York Yankees aren’t going back to their Evil Empire ways just yet. Though the free-agent market is filled with immense talent, the Yankees are taking a cautious approach with their payroll this winter.
The team will not attempt to sign every elite free agent on the market. Instead, the Yankees will once again try to remain under the luxury tax.
Not a line in a sand, but a preference, Brian Cashman says, for the Yankees to remain under the luxury tax "to not line the pockets of opponents to use that (revenue) against us."
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) November 6, 2018
That may come as disappointing news for Yankees fans hoping the team would return to its old ways with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado on the market.
The Yankees made it a point to stay under the luxury tax in 2018. It was the first time in franchise history the team did not have to pay a luxury tax penalty. Only two clubs exceeded the luxury tax in 2018, one was the Washington Nationals. The other was the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Heading into the offseason, the Yankees were looking at a payroll around $149 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The team spent eight million to bring back CC Sabathia on Tuesday, running that figure up to roughly $157 million.
With the 2019 luxury tax set at $206 million, that leaves the Yankees with about $49 million to spend in the offseason. That’s a solid chunk of change, but it might not be enough to net the team two elite players.
The Yankees will get better this winter. The team has enough money to bring in at least one strong starting pitcher and potential upgrades at first and second.
But the days of the Yankees flexing their financial muscle on the market appear to be over. The Yankees now care about saving money as much as every other team.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• NFL Power Rankings: Who’s No. 1 now?
• USOC moves to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status
• Pat Forde: Alabama’s a juggernaut, but one team can match it
• Charles Robinson: Bell, Steelers can create a win-win situation