Off-Base Percentage is a weekly post about the lighter side of sports, mainly baseball. Whether it occurs on the field, in the locker room, or in the media, if it is a little ‘off-base’ then it is fair game. If you are looking for analysis of a player, team, or sport it won’t be found in this post. This is for the sports fan that wants to take a step back and look at sports from a ‘different’ angle. Enjoy.
I don’t know about all of you but making $400,000 a year is quite an achievement, in my opinion. Well, I am not speaking in terms of the average person’s salary. I am, however, talking about the amount that the Yankees’ luxury tax will increase next season. The New York Yankees took their deep pockets a step further and topped their 2012 payroll ($223.3 million) with a $224.2 payroll in 2013. That less than a million dollar increase adds up to a forty-two and a half percent luxury tax or around four-hundred thousand dollars. They obviously have the highest payroll in the league, but it is worth noting that they lead the second highest team (Philadelphia Phillies) by over fifty million dollars. The San Francisco Giants spent about eighty-five million less than the Bronx Bombers last season–and they won the World Series. In fact, no other team in the league will be paying the luxury tax this upcoming season. So, the Yankees are paying everyone else in the league to keep the best team in baseball, in their eyes. In all they will paying nearly $19.3 million to keep their roster. The average player salary in the league is just over three million dollars. New York is paying for more than six players just in taxes. Two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, Felix Hernandez and Tim Lincecum, both made less than the Yankees’ luxury tax last year. Just imagine if they had not convinced Ichiro to take less money in 2013.
Speaking of Yankees’ players, it is widely known in the Cleveland area that Nick Swisher visited the Indians this week in hopes of reaching a contract agreement between the club and him. Swisher has spent the last four years with the Yankees and is now a free agent. The Indians, who are in need of a right fielder after trading away Shin-Soo Choo last week, threw out all the stops for Swisher’s visit. The team had the stadium looking in tip top shape and they even called upon the recruiting services of former Ohio State coach, Jim Tressel to lure Swisher to the stadium formerly known as ‘The Jake.’ Swisher played baseball for the Buckeyes and having Tressel there was not by mistake. With Swisher’s connections to Ohio and the vacancy in right field, the Indians hope to persuade the thirty-two year old to come to Cleveland and help rebuild the franchise to their 1990’s ways. Being pretty much guaranteed a starting spot and getting out of the hustle and bustle of New York before his wife gives birth their first child seems logical in my eyes. But Seattle, Philly, Boston, and San Fran are other teams who have shown interest. He wouldn’t be the first player to break Cleveland’s heart.
Will the Yankees win the World Series? Will the Indians? Can they find a way to sign Swisher? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the MTAF Podcast too. It’s on iTunes!