Regrettably, the New York Yankees head into the postseason as observers and not players for the second time in the last 19 seasons.
Hal Steinbrenner thanking the fans… (Photo credit: JeffreyPutman)
So, along with the other 19 non-championship caliber teams, the Yankees only hope at winning a World Series again is next season, which starts with the off-season.
Last off-season, the Yankees tried to get away with patching up holes instead of filling them.
And as most predicted, the Yankees missed the postseason because of it.
Now the question remains, will Yankees inherited owner Hal Steinbrenner do what needs to be done so this won’t happen again in 2014?
Hal has made no secret that he wants the Yankees payroll to be under $189 million in 2014 to avoid paying a 50% luxury tax. Reducing the payroll for just one season would also resets the tax back to 17.5%, which is the rate for a first time offender.
Yes, many teams have won spending a lot less money but the Yankees are just not built that way.
The team’s payroll for this past season was about $230 million.
This is only the second time since 1996 that the Yankees have missed the playoffs, and that the Bronx will be a quiet place come October.
But looking back at last year’s off-season things might be different now if the Yankees had resigned starting catcher Russell Martin, and Raul Ibanez and not picked up an injury prone Kevin Youkilis.
You can bet Hal Steinbrenner is kicking himself with this one, as not did he lose money here but the Yankees odds of making the playoffs would have skyrocketed. OK maybe that is extreme but the Yankees playoff chances would have been much better without a doubt.
As the saying goes, stats don’t lie and is seems that Martin and Ibanez would have benefited the Yankees on the field and on the books.
Martin did sign a two-year deal with the Pirates for $17 million but you have to consider that Youkilis played in 28 games and was not great in them either.
Both Martin and Ibanez made it clear that they wanted to stay in pinstripes but the Yankees did not even counter Pittsburgh offer to Martin, nor reach out to Ibanez.