Yesterday, the Yankees and Aroldis Chapman avoided arbitration and settled at an $11.325M contract for the 2016 season. The new closer was the last of the club’s non pre-arbitration eligible players without a contract, making today a good time to update the luxury tax payroll tracker included in the navigation bar above.
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training next week, and it seems unlikely that the Yankees will make any other significant moves, so the payroll should remain steady from now until Opening Day. In addition to updating the Google spreadsheet in the navigation bar, I’ve also embedded it below.
Currently, I’m estimating the Yankees’ luxury tax payroll at a smidgeon above $246M, or $57M above the tax threshold of $189M. As we know, the team has been a repeat offender for years and is taxed at the highest bracket, 50%. If my projection is accurate and nothing were to change at the season’s end, the Steinbrenners will owe $28.5M in tax. That would be slightly more than the $26M shelled out for the 2015 season.
Again, this is an estimate as some contract figures are either unknown (pre-arbitration major leaguers) or ballparked (portion of 40-man roster in the minors). I assigned $550K contracts to the pre-arbitration players to be conservative and estimated $2M for the minor leaguers on the 40-man (an estimate teams commonly use as noted by Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues).
Obviously, roster moves will be made throughout the season undoubtedly shifting the payroll one way or the other. One coming down the pipeline will be when the Yankees place Greg Bird on the 60-day disabled list, which will open a place on the 40-man for additional salary. There will certainly be other transactions during the season. I’ll continue to update throughout the year in order to monitor where the Yankees stand.