August 18, 2013

On Baseball: A-Rod not only Yankees problem

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

The Yankees face more negotiations. Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hideki Kuroda and Phil Hughes can all be free agents. (Andy Pettitte might follow Mariano Rivera into retirement.)

New York's payroll leads the majors at $229 million (the Dodgers are at $217 million, followed by the Phillies at $165 million and Boston at $151 million).

The Yankees reportedly want to be below $189 million next year, but the best way to cut payroll effectively is with player development. New York's minor league system has not produced a regular player since outfielder Brett Gardner arrived in 2008. New York lost draft picks when they signed free agents. The Angels got New York's first-round pick in 2009 when the Yankees signed Teixeira, and used it to draft Mike Trout.

Even when New York has drafted well, it has not worked out, like picking touted pitcher Gerrit Cole in the first round in 2008. He chose college instead and eventually landed with the Pirates.

In's list of the top 100 prospects, New York has three players (led by catcher Gary Sanchez at No. 30). Boston has eight (topped by No. 8 Xander Bogaerts).

Boston seems on a solid path for now and the future. New York is scrambling to be a wild- card team while trying to figure out a long-term plan.

The Yankees have a challenge ahead of them, not to mention a headache named A-Rod.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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