Via Joel Sherman –
The better the Commissioners Office does with the arbitrator in the Alex Rodriguez case, the worse the Yankees’ 2014 team will probably be.
Think of it this way: If Fredric Horowitz honors all or most of the 211-game suspension imposed by Bud Selig, then all or most of Rodriguez’s salary will vanish from the books for the 2014 season. That provides essentially the only way for the Yankees to get under $189 million for next season, but not by so much they could afford to address their remaining problems well.
But if the arbitrator goes light on A-Rod — and the lightest would probably be 50 games — then most of his salary would remain on the 2014 books and there would be just about no way the Yankees could get under $189 million. And once that is a reality, they may as well spend what they have to in order to, say, land Masahiro Tanaka (if he is ever posted) and sign perhaps Fernando Rodney to close.
Because as one member of the organization said to me, “We either have to be under $189 million or up over $200 million or more. Think how dumb it would look if we worked for a few years to get under $189 million and we didn’t and we were at like $192 million and just missed. Either we go under or way over.”
More importantly, if they just miss, would anyone be held accountable for it?