What Will 2009 Hold For The Yankees?

Erik DianaCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2008

Now that the second half of the Major League Baseball season is upon us, prognosticators are saying that the Yankees have a very real chance to overtake the Rays for a playoff spot let's take a look at what happens to this proud franchise once the season is over.

No matter what way you look at it, the Yankees will have money to spend. And now that they will get to use the new Yankee Stadium and all the maintenance costs and deduct from the revenue they have to pay they will only have more to spend. Also, the Yankees are getting a lot of contracts (mostly bad) off of their books.

1. Alex Rodriguez28,000,000
2. Jason Giambi23,428,571
3. Derek Jeter21,600,000
4 a. Andy Pettitte16,000,000
4 b. Bobby Abreu16,000,000
6. Mariano Rivera15,000,000
7. Jorge Posada13,100,000
8 a. Johnny Damon13,000,000
8 b. Hideki Matsui13,000,000
10. Mike Mussina11,071,029
11. Carl Pavano11,000,000
12. Kyle Farnsworth5,916,666
13. Chien-Ming Wang4,000,000
14. LaTroy Hawkins3,750,000
15. Robinson Cano3,000,000
16. Jose Molina1,875,000
17. Wilson Betemit1,165,000
18. Brian Bruney725,000
19. Billy Traber500,000
20. Melky Cabrera461,200
21. Phil Hughes406,350
22. Jonathan Albaladejo393,225
23 a. Humberto Sanchez390,000
23 b. Joba Chamberlain390,000
Total Team Salary: 207,108,489
























Giambi has a buyout of $5 million, which the Yankees will most likely exercise. Mussina's contract is over, along with Andy Pettitte, Kyle Farnsworth, and LaTroy Hawkins. So is Carl Pavano's deal (worst signing ever) and Bobby Abreu's tenure is likely over.

All in all, it's about $75-$80 million coming off of their books. That is a lot of weight to shed for an organization. However, it will also leave some gaping holes on the roster. Two starting pitchers potentially need to be replaced, a couple arms in the bullpen, and a right fielder that drives in 100 runs consistently and is supposed to see a lot of pitches for A-Rod will have to be replaced.

Now let's see who's available for some of that excess cash to be spent on. This a list of who the Yankees maybe interested in and people who could make sense for their needs.

Mark Teixeira, 1B, 29-years-old

Milton Bradley, OF/DH, 31-years-old

Manny Ramirez, OF, 37-years-old

- This would be highly unlikely considering he's too old and Boston still needs him, which means they'll pick up his option. The Red Sox could sign him to a cheaper deal, say $14-$16 million after the season for a year.

Rocco Baldelli, OF, 27-years-old

- Also very unlikely considering his injuries during the last few years.

Vladamir Guerrero, OF/DH, 33-years-old

Jim Thome, DH, 37-years-old

- He'd be perfect with the short porch at the new Yankee Stadium.

Jon Garland, SP, 29-years-old

CC Sabathia, SP, 28-years-old

Ben Sheets, SP, 30-years-old

Francisco Rodriguez, Closer, 27-years-old

- The Yankees are going to need a replacement for Mariano Rivera some time soon right?

Let's assume that the Yankees don't make the playoffs (which is a very likely scenario), you know Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are going to want to spend money to show they can pick-up where their old man left off in 2002 and 2003.

The Yankees need power arms in their rotation and I think the days of them waiting around for Phil Hughes to get healthy and dominate are over (not sure I agree with that, but he at least to earn his way back, just like Ian Kennedy.)

The Yankees also need a dependable setup man for Mariano Rivera. And if they spend big time they could get their future closer in K-Rod.

The Yankees will also probably sign Pettitte at the very least. He should retire a Yankee and the Yankees realize that. Mussina could come back. But he could get a huge contract in say Chicago and play for San Diego, Philadelphia or the Cubs and dominate in the NL. It would be a lot easier for him to get 300 wins that way.

They could sign Giambi to a cheaper deal the way the Red Sox will with Manny Ramirez, but his baggage is remarkable and he's been really up (2002, 2005 and 2006) and really down with them too (2004 and 2007.) And they may want to wash away the memories of steroid users on their teams. (That's why they refuse to accept the fact that Barry Bonds could help them right now.)

Well, one thing is for sure: the Yankees are going to have a busy off-season with Cashman's deal up and with all the free agents that will come and go through town making their decisions on who to sign with.

I do expect them to snag at least 3 quality guys though. CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeiram and maybe one more starter along with resigning Pettitte. I'd love to see K-Rod in pinstripes, but it won't happen!