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it's difficult to imagine the Yankees keeping the payroll below $189 million. Actually, it's unfathomable. They can't do it, because the team just isn't good enough. They have to improve by 10 wins on paper just to be on the fringes of contention, and they lost their best player, meaning they really need to make up closer to 18 wins.
And as a result of the new CBA, the Yankees can't flex their financial muscle in the draft or on the international market. There's a perception that the new CBA hurts small-market teams that want to spend on amateur players, but it actually hurts rich teams that want to blow the market away on elite young players. Carlos Rodon, the presumptive no. 1 overall pick in the next draft, could be a better version of David Price in a perfect world. In the old days, Scott Boras6 could work his magic, tell the world that his client wants $25 million to sign, and scare away enough teams to allow Rodon to fall to wherever the Yankees are picking.
Also, IF A-Rod does get suspended,
When has this ever happened?
JD Drew and Rick Porcello are two quick examples. Porcello wasn't the consensus #1 talent, or even close to it, but there were a lot of people convinced he would be a decent major league pitcher very quickly, an expectation that he realized.
But Drew was the #5 pick by the Cards after being the #2 the year before and refusing to sign.
IIRC, part of that was because teams were afraid of his bonus demands. I seem to remember the Royals not even considering him at #4 because they thought they couldn't afford him wanted to keep more money for themselves.
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