Brrrr. There was a game at Yankees Stadium today but it was a college football game and not a baseball game.
You think of college football games being played in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl—warm weather sites.
But the Pinstripe Bowl is in Yankee Stadium, and Boston College and Iowa played in bitterly cold temps today. Iowa winning, 27-20.
The field was frozen, and instead of cleats, players had to resort to sneakers on a field that was like a hockey rink. Icy.
As for the Yankees themselves, the free agent and trade market is as icy as Yankee Stadium was today. But then, the whole free agent market has been like that so far.
With the Yanks, the problem is that Hal wants to get under the $alary cap, which is $197MM. Right now, depending on what source you are looking at, the Yanks are somewhere around $178-182MM, leaving little for arbitration raises or moves made mid-season 2018 at the trade deadline.
Of course, freeing themselves of some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract would help, but how much can they free for a fifth OF making $21MM?
As far as possible deals to give more depth to the starting rotation, the Yanks apparently have offered Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and/or Tyler Wade/ Thairo Estrada for Chris Archer or Mike Fulmer and a little lesser package for Gerrit Cole.
Gleyber Torres, Estevan Florial and Justus Sheffield are off the table.
So the Yanks, for now, have their hands tied.
That includes trying to re-sign Todd Frazier, who probably wants a multi-year deal. He made $12MM last year, and even re-signing him for 1 yr at the same price puts the Yanks perilously close to the limit they want to stay under.
Why stay under? It would reset the Yanks luxury tax penalty which is currently 50 cents to the dollar.
Then they could actively go after free agents after 2018 with no penalty and next years class is a monster class which includes Kershaw, Machado, Harper and Donaldson for starters.