Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Yankees' Standing In The AL East Right Now

(The champagne bath could be harder to come by in 2013.  Courtesy of The Daily News)

It's no secret by now that this offseason has been a strange one for the Yankees in many ways.  They can be best described as being "actively inactive," focusing all their time and energy on re-signing their own internal free agents while staying far on the periphery of all other free agent and trade rumors.  As I mentioned this morning, they've spent amounts of money right up there with the best of them, so it's not like they're completely sitting on their hands, but were it not for Alex Rodriguez's newest hip injury not a dollar of it would have gone towards a single player from outside the organization.  This offseason marked the first big step towards the 2014 payroll goal, and to their credit the Yankees have stayed on the path of the cheap and short-term.

This strategy has not gone unnoticed by their AL East competition.  Almost every other team in the division, with the exception of Baltimore, has been very active on the free agent and trade markets this offseason, picking up the slack and the players left for the taking by the Yankees electing to stand pat.  It's been interesting to say the least, as recent attempts by other clubs to try to step up and grab the "biggest big spender" torch away from the Yanks have yet to return big dividends (see: both teams in Los Angeles).  It's also a bit worrisome, as the Yankees' approach this offseason has opened a window of opportunity that every other team seems eager to jump through.

Pennants and championships aren't won in December, that much we know.  But the collection of moves that have been made (and not made) so far begs the question, are the Yankees still considered the king of the hill and the top of the heap in the AL East?  Should they be?

Has It Really Come To This?

This past weekend the Yankees found out their 2012 luxury tax fate, and they were reportedly in for $18.9 million or as I like to call it, more money than I'll ever come close to seeing in my life.  It was a bump up from their 2011 luxury tax and established a pretty good benchmark for how much work the Yankees still have to do to get under that luxury tax threshold in 2014 as well as how much they've already done over the last 10 years to rack up almost a quarter billion in luxury tax penalties.

Yesterday the AP released a story that damn near everybody in blogosphere hopped on immediately. Apparently somebody forgot to carry a 3 somewhere, because it turns out the Yankees actually owed $19.3 million in luxury tax, OOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!!!  That's right, Yankee fans.  The old Evil Empire got dinged for another $393,648 and everybody's talking about it like it's actual news.  Ummm, what planet am I on??