Let’s do an exercise. Because Brian Cashman and his baseball operations staff almost certainly are in the midst of doing it for real to determine, among other items, how much they can offer DJ LeMahieu while keeping enough money to deepen the pitching staff.
Cashman has said he will not “telegraph” the Yankees’ budget. So, this is a moment in which we can point out what the Yankees’ revenues were going into 2020, or what the exorbitant franchise value is, or play every fan’s favorite game: “This Is What George Steinbrenner Would Do.”
Except the Yanks really have telegraphed their intentions. Every team official who has spoken has mentioned the substantial COVID-created losses of 2020 and — without a firm idea if fans will be back in any sizable way in 2021 — the need to plan as if next year will be more of the same.
Thus, the Yankees are going to dramatically cut payroll. How much?
They were projected to be around $265 million for luxury-tax purposes if a full season were played in 2020. The luxury-tax threshold for 2021 is $210 million. The Yanks can go beyond it assuming in a newly negotiated collective bargaining agreement that will begin for 2022…