The reason: The Yankees' new budget-conscious, reason-centric approach will be tested with the Red Sox's Price move. There is nothing more Boss Steinbrenner than throwing record-setting money at the problem. That is what Boston is doing, which might be a good short-term bet for a 30-year-old starter, but long term you usually eventually end up with a deal that you don't want, like CC Sabathia's.
So, while for 2016, this makes sense -- and if Price can match Sabathia and lead a championship run in his first season the Red Sox will be thrilled -- in the long term these deals don't work out. It has been proven time and time again.
That is what the Yankees are betting on. They think avoiding deals like the one for Price is the smart move, at least until they sneak under the luxury-tax bar as early as next offseason.
At the moment, if the Yankees had signed Price, they would be taxed at a 50 percent clip. So that $31 million for '16, would become $46.5 million. That is one of the reasons that the Yankees were never going to go after Price and why they are likely not signing any big-time free agents.
The Impact: In the short term, the Yankees are going to have to listen to a lot of complaints from their fan base. With the prices the fans pay, they have a right to have their voices heard. However, long term, if you really want to get younger and cheaper, you have to take some medicine.
The Yankees are going to wait for Mark Teixeira ($23M per) and Carlos Beltran ($15M per) to come off the books next season, then Sabathia ($25M per) and Alex Rodriguez ($21M per) to drop from the payroll following the 2017 season. Maybe then they will be up for spending big again.
Hal Steinbrenner, though, is fond of saying that teams with lower payrolls keep winning the World Series, not the Yankees, so who knows for sure?
The Red Sox played much better than the Yankees in the second half of 2015. Boston seemed as if they basically just ran out of season or they would've caught the Yankees. The Red Sox are now much better for '16. That is an immediate concern the Yankees must deal with. Long term, the Yankees may be better off that they are not the ones acting like the Boss this winter.