In an effort to keep their payroll under the $189 million threshold by 2014, which allows them to avoid paying a luxury tax, the New York Yankees have stayed relatively quiet so far. Reluctant to offer any multi-year deals, the Bronx Bombers were never in play for Greinke and don’t figure to be in the mix for Josh Hamilton either.
Heck, they couldn’t even sign Eric Chavez or Jeff Keppinger.
After years of complaining about the Evil Empire tossing money at all their problems, this new-found sense of stinginess should be a welcome sign for most baseball fans.
Instead, the Miami Marlins showed that the small-market team isn't always an innocent bystander to the league’s free-market format when they shipped away all their highly-priced talent a year removed from duping Florida into handing them a new stadium through taxpayer money.
And then the Los Angeles Dodgers emerged as an even more evil version of the Yankees (Yahoo’s Jeff Passan referred to them as the Death Star), signing Greinke to a record deal for a pitcher in terms of per-year salary.
A year after declaring bankruptcy, the Dodgers are carelessly spending away with revenue earned from a lucrative new television contract, and they might not stop anytime soon.
The Yankees are not healing their wounds by throwing piles of cash on the problem, and they don’t have the farm system to fix their woes.
With Alex Rodriguez undergoing hip surgery, Derek Jeter possibly missing the start to 2013 and Nick Swisher likely to skip town, New York actually might suffer from a lack of offense because they don’t want to fall victim to a luxury tax that they could easily afford.
To make their timing worse, the Toronto Blue Jays impersonated their divisional foe's old habits by obtaining Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Melky Cabrera.
Then the Tampa Bay Rays bolstered an already loaded young nucleus by snatching Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi from the Kansas City Royals.
Watching the Evil Empire crumble should taste sweet, but it instead leaves a sour flavor since it’s only a matter of time before they return to their normal ways.
Soon enough, once they escape the payroll penalty in 2014, the Yankees will remember that they’re the fricken' Yankees and resume buying wins. Until then, their annual postseason bid is in grave jeopardy.