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The Yankees Finances May Be in Trouble with Possible Lower Payroll

Big questions are coming for the New York Yankees. One that stands out the most is if they can re-sign All-Star slugger Juan Soto before he reaches free agency. This season may be a make-or-break one based on owner Hal Steinbrenner’s recent comments.

“I’m gonna be honest, payrolls at the levels we’re at right now are simply not sustainable for us financially. It wouldn’t be sustainable for the vast majority of ownership [groups], given the luxury tax we have to pay.”

Not only does the team already have the second-highest payroll in baseball (behind the New York Mets), but they have answer some of those questions this upcoming offseason.

Yankees Face Tough Questions

The Juan Soto Predicament

The biggest question mark that they have is, of course, Juan Soto. The superstar has thrived as a Yankees hoped. Unfortunately, adding another huge contract to their already-expensive payroll seems implausible. This is partially because of how many other Yankees are set to hit free agency at the end of the year. They include big names like Alex Verdugo, Clay Holmes, Gleyber Torres, and Tommy Kahnle.

In turn, this means that a lot of salary comes off the books at the end of the year, which should be enough to re-sign Soto. Unfortunately, this also means that there is less money available to address other potential needs on the rest of the team. Does this mean that the 2025 Yankees will be completely top-heavy without the depth of this year’s squad?

Steinbrenner Addresses Reality

At an owners’ meeting on Wednesday concerning payroll, Hal Steinbrenner said the following about his team’s financial straits. He has a solid point. However, this doesn’t spell doom for the Yankees; it just signifies a potential shake-up in terms of roster-building strategies.

Steinbrenner also said “I’ve been a broken record [on this topic]: I don’t believe I should have a $300 million payroll to win a championship. I believe I need a good mix of veterans, who are gonna make a lot more money, but, also, we’ve put a lot of money into our player development system in the last 5-10 years. And in my opinion, we have one of the better ones in baseball now.”

So, there’s no reason to panic. If the Yankees sign Soto, they’ll have one of the best players in the sport long-term. If they don’t, they’ll have a lot of money to work with, on top of one of baseball’s best farm systems. After all, Jasson Domínguez will need a spot in the outfield, and right now there’s not much room to spare. Maybe cutting back on spending will work out in the Yankees favor. Or, maybe they’ll keep spending and force their own favor, just like they always have.

The Yankees Payroll in Question

New York has a payroll in excess of $300 million. It puts them deep into luxury-tax territory. However, they’ll have almost $100 million in salary at the end of the season. It clears up space for a pursuit of Soto. It should make Yankees fans wonder if Steinbrenner will be able to address other roster needs if a deal gets done with Soto.

Main Photo: © Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


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