There are a lot of names the naysayers and haters can call the New York Yankees, but one thing the iconic franchise cannot be called is cheap.
The Yankees opened last season with MLB's second-highest payroll at $277 million but ended the disastrous campaign with a lowly 82-80 card. However, heading into the 2024 campaign, the Bronx Bombers tax payroll currently sits at $304.3 million with an estimated $48.4 million luxury tax.
New York has failed to use a massive budget to win a World Series title in recent years. Even a championship drought has not altered its modus operandi. Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner and Senior VP/General Manager Brian Cashman are willing to pay ridiculous luxury taxes to continue acquiring high-end players.
Cashman landed one of the best hitters in baseball this offseason by sending a truckload of players to the San Diego Padres for outfielders Juan Soto and Trent Grisham. Soto has led the Majors in walks the past three seasons and should help the Yankees contend for the AL East crown this year.
"The future is always now," Cashman said after shipping Michael King, Kyle Higashioka, Drew Thorpe, Randy Vasquez, and Jhony Brito to the West Coast. "
Another player the front office is confident will make the Yankees better this season is southpaw Carlos Rodon. The free-agent pitcher flopped in his first season in the Bronx after signing a monster $162 million contract.
"The best thing I can say about Carlos is he's got a lot of ability, and that hasn't gone away. It's just making sure he's in the best position to get it out. That's what we're all on board with helping him do that.
"Making sure that his workout regimen, his throwing program, and his buildup is all air-tight," Boone added, "and making sure he is in the best position so when he gets into spring training that he's coming in with a great foundation."
New York also recently signed free-agent right-hander Marcus Stroman, who went 10-9 with a 3.95 ERA and 119 strikeouts last year with the Chicago Cubs. A childhood fan of the 27-time World Series champion, the 2023 All-Star is confident he will pitch well at Yankee Stadium.
This signing, among others, underlines the Yankees' status as one of the biggest sports teams in New York, particularly notable for their record 27 World Series titles. Their commitment to acquiring top talent reflects their ambition to add to this impressive tally, showcasing why they are seen as a powerhouse in Major League Baseball.
"I'm built for
Below are the players boasting the highest-paid contracts for the 2023 season.
The former AL MVP signed a nine-year, $360 million deal with the Yankees on Dec. 20, 2022. The $40 million annual salary was the largest contract ever for a position player until Shohei Ohtani inked a record-setting $68 million per season paycheck last year.
Judge broke the previous AL record of 61 home runs in 2022, which was established in 1961 by another Yankee slugger, Roger Maris. The five-time All-Star hit .267 with 37 long balls and drove in 75 runs in an injury-marred campaign last season.
The reigning AL Cy Young awardee signed a then-franchise record nine-year, $324 million free-agent contract four years ago. Cole's contract was the largest signed by a pitcher, with an average annual salary of $36 million.
The six-time All-Star has led the major leagues in strikeouts twice and can opt out of his contract after this upcoming season. However, the Yankees can void his decision by adding another year to the contract in 2029.
The former NL batting champion inked a one-year, $31 million deal after the Padres dealt the sweet-swinging lefty to the Yankees in December. The three-time All-Star won the Home Run Derby in 2022 and is the eighth-youngest player to reach 100 career homers in MLB history.
Soto, who batted .275 with 35 dingers and 109 RBI last season, is expected to sign a blockbuster contract when he hits the free-agent market at the end of this upcoming season.
The former NL MVP signed a 13-year, $325 million extension with the Miami Marlins in 2014. The deal was the richest contract in sports history at the time, but the cash-strapped Florida franchise dealt the slugger to the Yankees three years later.
The five-time All-Star is a two-time NL home run king with 402 career long balls. But, the injury-prone power hitter with an annual salary of $25 million has missed 284 of 708 games over the past five seasons.
The two-time All-Star landed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Yankees in 2022 after compiling a 27-13 record and 422 strikeouts from 2021-22.
The all-time strikeout king at North Carolina State, Rodon retired 25 consecutive batters en route to a no-hitter against the Cleveland Guardians in 2021. But his debut season in the Bronx was an injury-plagued year that saw the lefty finish with a 3-8 mark and an ugly 6.85 ERA.
The former World Baseball Classic MVP signed a two-year, $37 million deal on Jan. 11 to join New York. The 32-year-old played the last two seasons with the Chicago Cubs and posted 16 wins and 238 strikeouts over 275.1 innings.
The right-hander previously played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets.
The Yankees have several other players bringing home impressive paychecks, including 1B Anthony Rizzo ($17M per year), 3B DJ LeMaheiu ($15M per year), 2B Gleyber Torres ($9.5M per year), and OF Alex Verdugo ($8.7M per year).
The New York Yankees' strategy for the 2024 season emphasizes their unwavering commitment to investing in top-tier talent, regardless of the cost.
Despite a less-than-ideal performance in the previous season, the strategic decisions made by Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman, particularly the acquisitions of Juan Soto, Carlos Rodon, and Marcus Stroman, alongside retaining stars like Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole, and Giancarlo Stanton, underscore a bold blend of experienced skill and new dynamism.
This combination of star power and substantial investment goes beyond the ballpark, influencing perceptions and expectations on the best MLB betting sites. It positions the Yankees as a focal point for both fans and bettors, who will be keenly watching to see if this high-stakes strategy translates into the much-desired World Series title.