As of this moment, right here, the 2013 Yankees already have in the neighborhood of 109 million dollars spent. That's with arbitration, or new contracts. 109 million...for a season 3 years away.
What is that team going to look like? Is it going to be as old and brittle as some forecast? Well, maybe. Let's take a guess at what the lineup and rotation might look like by then.
In The Field
1B: Mark Teixeira is penned in here for the foreseeable future.
2013: 22.5 million, 33 years old in 2013.
2B: Robinson Cano, barring injury or severe drop in play, will be here in 2013 on a new contract.
2013: New contract would bring in say, rough guess, 18 million per. 30 years old in 2013.
SS: Eduardo Nunez. Anyway, that is the plan. Scouts say he definitely has the potential; reminds some of Cano a bit when he was that age. By 2013, hopefully, he will mature and take the next step.
2013: Rookie-type contract. Yanks save money here. Will turn 26 in 2013 season.
3B: Derek Jeter. Think Jeter was mad with the contract negotiations? Wait until they move him to 3rd.
2013: 17 million. Will turn 39 in 2013 season.
LF: Grady Sizemore. Sizemore's current contract is up in 2012, and if healthy and has a bounce-back season, he will demand too much money for the Indians to resign him. Also, have a feeling the Yankees will trade Swisher at some point, and won't resign Granderson and will need some outfielders. Therefore, Yankees trade for Sizemore. Sizemore will turn 31 in 2013 and the Yankes will resign him before he becomes a free agent.
2013: 31. Contract: If he's healthy, say 14 million or so.
CF: Brett Gardner. Mr. Scrappy himself is the Yankees lead-off hitter and defensive stalwart.
Turns 30 in 2013. Yankees sign him to friendly contract of about 10 million per.
RF: Jesus Montero. Too big behind the plate and with other catching prospects coming, Montero is placed in the right field spot. Will Gardner next to him and the veteran Sizemore in left, the Yankees feel Montero can't do too much damage.
Montero will be 23 in 2013 and still be on a very friendly rookie contract.
C: Figure a mix of Gary Sanchez—by accounts the Yankees top all-around catching prospect—and a journeyman, Kelly Shoppach, for instance, to take some of the days from the rookie and tutor him. Shoppach will make about 5 mil.
DH: Alex Rodriguez. Too steroid-damaged to play the field anymore, A-Rod clogs up the DH role until 2017.
Turns 38 in 2013 and earns 28 million.
CC Sabathia will turn 33 in 2013 and will earn 23 million.
Cliff Lee will turn 35 during the 2013 season and will earn about 25 million.
A.J. Burnett will be 36 in 2013 and earn 16.5 million.
Phil Hughes will be 27 in 2013 and will be signed by the Yankees to a deal near 10 million.
Dellin Betances will be 25 in 2013 and under a rookie contract.
The Yankees will try commit a panic-trade for another pitcher at some point. Those trades usually do not work out, but if A.J. Burnett pitches his way out of the rotation (a distinct possibility), figure a Jason Marquis-type trade to try to fill in the gaping hole Burnett leaves. Betances figures to be the "See, we're trying out rookies" pitcher of 2013.
The first season without Mariano Rivera. Panic! The Yankees sign a couple of relief guys to help out—figure Mike Gonzalez and Jonathon Broxton (or similar dudes) to say 18 million for them total. Another rookie, (the Yankees need them to offset the leviathan-type contracts) Manny Banuelos will get a shot in the pen as a lefty, along with the next Joba Chamberlain, "can we get anything out him?" guy—Andrew Brackman. Adam Warren will be a pen guy as well, long reliever. A couple of other journeymen fill out the pen.
Notable Guys Traded/Busts. Nick Swisher. Austin Romine. Joba Chamberlain. Graham Stoneburner. Brandon Laird. Slade Heathcott. Adam Warren. J. R. Murphy. Cito Culver. Ivan Nova. David Adams. Hector Noesi.
Anyway, the above team costs in the ballpark of 210 million and that doesn't include a bench or any substantive free agent signings between now and 2013 (except of course, Cliff Lee). It also doesn't include the panic rental trades (the Berkman trade for example). As with any speculation, it's all educated guesswork. But its fun educated guesswork all to prove a point. And that point should be obvious: The Yankees in 2013 will be in hock to some players—especially the rotation—on the wrong side of 32—some way past 32. It's coming, these debts, we all know it. The question is "What do we do about it?" The above was just my fun educated guess. What is yours?