The New York Yankees way of doing things has changed dramatically since the passing of the late George Steinbrenner and the way the back end’s of Alex Rodriguez’s and more so CC Sabathia’s contracts have worked out.
Sabathia has been one of the most ineffective pitchers in baseball since 2013, and the Yankees would love nothing more to get out from under A-Rod’s contract despite how much of a pleasant surprise he was last season.
If George were still running the team though, you can bet a combination of Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, and David Price would be wearing pinstripes. That’s just how The Boss conducted his business.
But with the luxury tax thresholds that have been in place since the 2011 season, the Yankees (Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman) have become significantly more cautious with how the team spends its money.
Because of that, a player the Yankees wouldn’t have let get past them five years ago in David Price, they allowed so sign elsewhere, even if the Red Sox were that team which they are in Price’s case.
**Disclaimer: There is no credible or reliable information to support this theory, just speculation**
I am speculating that Cashman has bigger and better plans than Price, and the last thing he wanted was to do was owe a 33, 34, 35, and 36-year-old Price $31 million per season because he’d like to have the flexibility to spend his money elsewhere.
By elsewhere, I’m talking about the one and only Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. Harper will be a free agent following the 2018 season, and Cashman in my opinion has no interest in being handicapped by Price’s large salary during that time because he knows what it’s going to take to bring Harper to the Bronx.
When (assuming Washington doesn’t lock him up before 2018 which doesn’t seem very likely) Harper hits the free agent market, he will command what will likely be the largest contract in the history of baseball. I’m talking something in upwards of 13 years and $350 million minimum.
If Cashman had brought Price to New York, he would have had to beat Boston’s offer of 7-years and $217 million, so he’d be on the hook for around $33 million per season just for Price, and if you include Harper’s potential salary into the mix, that’s over $65 million tied up into two players which means you have 22 other spots you’d like to fill up with just $123 million (assuming the current luxury tax threshold stays the same).
When you look at how the Yankees conduct their business, being hamstrung like that is not a position Cashman or the Steinbrenner’s want to be in. They would rather not face the current situation they are in with Sabathia and have arguably the game’s most talented player playing in Yankee Stadium instead.
Initially, I was extremely frustrated the Yankees let Price get away, but after speculating about this theory, I’d be completely happy if not having Price means I get to have Bryce Harper on my team.