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Monday, February 16, 2004

Baseball News

As Spring Training approaches (the Cubs pitchers and catchers report Wednesday) the pace of transactions has again begun to pick up. Three items of note happened today and over the weekend:

  • ARod to Yanks - Not a bad deal for the Yankees when you consider A) $7M of ARod's $22M contract is either deferred or Texas is covering with the cash involved in the deal; B) Alfonso Soriano was set to make $5.4M based on the 1-year deal he signed just 3 weeks ago in order to avoid salary arbitration (he made $800K last year); C) The possibility that Aaron Boone's $5.75M contract may be voided because he was injured playing basketball. All of a sudden it doesn't look so bad, getting ARod for about $3M of additional outlay in 2004. Of course, the Yankees will have that contract for 7 more years. That said, the Yankee payroll is now somwhere in the $190M range (the Royals payroll will be around $45M this year), which will incur a luxury tax of around $15.6M at the end of 2004 (taxed at 22.5% above $120.5M for 2004). This last year the Yankees paid $11.82M in luxury tax in addition to $48.8M in revenue sharing on their $270M in revenues. The revenue sharing percentage will also increase from 20% to 34% in 2004, providing more money to small market teams like the Royals. And even so for $190M the Yankees are not a sure thing to win their division because of their lack of pitching depth.

  • DePodesta and the Dodgers - The Dodgers new owner did hire Paul DePodesta today. It's a good day if you're in Los Angeles.

  • Cubs and Maddux - The Cubs have apparently upped their offer to Greg Maddux. Hopefully they won't get in a bidding war for the aging right-hander although it appears Maddux has rejected an offer from the Giants. The Dodgers appear to be the only other contender at the moment. It'll be interesting to see if DePodesta has any say in whether the Dodgers sign Maddux and whether DePodesta might even pull the offer if he has the power to do so.
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