Yankees can only stay under luxury tax if Alex Rodriguez is suspended

Patrick Smith

The Yankees have said many times in recent months that they are set on staying under the payroll luxury tax threshold of $189 million. That can only happen if Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire season.

The Yankees have two stated goals for the 2014 season: win the World Series (though they say that stuff every year), and keep their payroll under $189 million so as to avoid the luxury tax. Now, after they spent over $230 million on the likes of Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, it seems their desire to achieve the first goal has totally trumped the second. In fact, the only way they can avoid the luxury tax now is if Alex Rodriguez's suspension is upheld, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

Rodriguez is set to make $27.5 million in base salary for the 2014 season and would be likely to also earn a $6 million bonus for passing Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. That's quite a bit of money, and it seems the Yankees are planning on Rodriguez's suspension being upheld, which would absolve them of their obligation to pay him for the duration. In fact, it looks like they have already spent that money.

The Yankees handed out big contracts to McCann and Ellsbury and are still working to retain the services of Robinson Cano and Hiroki Kuroda. They have also been rumored to covet Masahiro Tanaka in the event he is posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the NPB. It seems the Yankees have already spent the $30 million or so originally tabbed for Rodriguez, so they now seem to be in the strange position of kinda sorta rooting for Rodriguez's suspension to be upheld. (But they were probably rooting for that anyway.) It's a strange time in the Bronx, but what else is new?

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