The $225 million deal that the Cincinnati Reds handed out to Joey Votto got me thinking about the New York Yankees and some of their monster contracts. The New York Yankees have obviously handed out numerous scale tipping deals, but only one of those has surpassed the $200 million plateau (hell, it’s damn near $300 million.) That deal obviously belongs to Alex Rodriguez. Who is going to be the first Bomber to join him in this exclusive club? The New York Yankees do not seem to be quite the same organization from the mid-2000’s that threw money around like it grew on trees. Additionally, the new CBA seems (maybe that should be past tense) like it will reduce the number of $200 million contracts in the future. We’re still talking about the New York Yankees though. Another such deal is coming eventually, right?
On the current roster, the only guy that I can think of coming close to that type of cheddar is Robinson Cano. He’s the best second baseman and one of the best hitters in the game. The fact that he wields one of the league’s most potent bats at an up-the-middle position (catcher, second base, shortstop, center field) certainly plays in his favor, but I don’t see $200 million in his future – not on his next contract at least. Cano will be a free agent at the end of the 2013 season at which point he’ll be 31. Let’s be serious. Not a chance he’s pulling in a 10 year/$200 million+ deal.
Two conditions need to be in place before the New York Yankees shell out their next $200 million deal. The first is that the player is going to have to be 27 or younger. I think this condition is an absolute. Nobody wants to be spending absurd amounts of money for a player in his decline phase. Teams still do it, but it is far from ideal and that is why we are seeing more and more players locked up to team friendly deals before they even hit arbitration. The second is that the player will probably need to man one of the aforementioned up-the-middle positions and flash some decent leather there – it can’t be a DH masquerading as a position player.
Taking those conditions into consideration, we can eliminate everyone currently on the Yankees’ big league roster. By the way, I’ve eliminated pitchers from the jump. We’ll see a starting pitcher get $200 million one of these days, but I don’t anticipate it will be from the Yanks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’re smarter than that at least. This leaves us to consider minor league hitters. The top three bats in the Yankees’ farm system are Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams and Dante Bichette Jr. I’m not even willing to speculate on a member of that trio becoming a $200 million player. Maybe one day we can dream up such a lofty scenario, but let’s see them do something above Single-A first. Deal?
At this point, the New York Yankees do not have anyone in the organization that is going to command a Votto or A-Rod type deal. I suppose that means the next mega-deal is going to come from outside of the organization. Who’s the guy though? Justin Upton? Eric Hosmer? Ryan Braun?
…Manny Machado? Time will tell.
For more big time New York Yankees speculation, follow me on Twitter @craigmwilliams.