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Yankees blow past luxury tax line to sign DJ LeMahieu



Yankees fans have been waiting for this winter for a long time. This was the offseason when the generational talents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado would eventually become free agents. This was the year when one or both could finally wear the fabulous pinstripes.

The doubt about the intentions of the Yankees began to creep about a year ago, when the front office announced that the number one objective of the organization was to lower itself under the competition Threshold of fiscal equilibrium. We crave to know that winning the World Series remained the club's priority above all else, but we did not get what we wanted. Instead, we saw rival Red Sox move on to another championship, while our beloved Yankees rose again.

We were hoping against the hope that going under the luxury tax line in 201

8 was just a once-in-a-day franchise event, in order to restore the penalty rate in advance of the super free-agent class of quests. ;year. We got our wish, a little bit. Unfortunately, the Yankees did not exceed the luxury tax line to sign Machado or Harper. They did it to sign DJ LeMahieu.

Who?

LeMahieu is an eight-year-old MLB veteran who came out with the Cubs in 2011, but was traded in the Rocky Mountains after the season with his still intact debut status. The 30-year-old left-handed batter is a two-time All-Star who has won three Gold Glove Awards. LeMahieu won the National League batting title in 2016 with an average of .348, and achieved the 15th place in the MVP Award as a result.

He recorded 7,460 innings to the second base throughout his career in the great league. LeMahieu also has 245 innings under his belt in the hot corner, in addition to four short frames and 13 in first base. He has a career OPS .834 at Coors Field, but only .673 on the road.

LeMahieu's two-year agreement is worth 24 million dollars. With LeMahieu's salary included, the Yankees predicted that the 2019 payroll for luxury taxes would be around $ 214.7 million. This figure includes $ 141.255 million committed to the ten players under contract, $ 9.725 million for the four announced arbitration agreements, $ 43.5 million that MLB Trade Rumors' estimates will be awarded to the five eligible players. arbitration and $ 5.72 million for arbitration players and players of 40 players in minors. It also includes $ 14.5 million in player benefits.

The $ 214.7 million estimate of the Yankees payrolls on the $ 206 million luxury line of about $ 8.7 million. Remember, the expected paycheck is not subject to the luxury tax, neither the payday of the opening day, nor the payroll from any other point during the season. The only thing that matters and is ultimately subject to a possible penalty is where the team's paycheck is at the end of the season.

If the Yankees paychecks go for $ 214.7 million, then they would pay a 20% tax on the overrun. In that case, their expected penalty would be $ 1.74 million.

The team can add about $ 11.3 million more to the payroll without seeing an increase in the tax rate of 2019. Once they reach the $ 226 million threshold, they would instead have paid a "tax rate" 32% on every dollar on that $ 206 million line. If their payroll exceeds $ 246 million, they will be required to spend a 92.5% tax on every dollar spent over the $ 206 million threshold.

LeMahieu's signature does not necessarily preclude the Yankees from signing Machado. LeMahieu plans to serve in the utility role run by Neil Walker last year. Walker produced -0.1 WAR in 113 games for the Yankees in 2018, while LeMahieu compiled 3.0 WAR for the Rockies in 128 games. It produced 2.9 WAR in 2017 and 5.3 WAR the year before, so the signing of LeMahieu could represent a significant update for the Yankees at the point of utility.

I am not ready to jump to conclusions that the signature of LeMahieu means the end of Machado's search for organization. I must admit, however, that it would be extremely bizarre if the Yankees were willing to cross the luxury tax line to sign LeMahieu, but not a superstar like Machado. Stay tuned.


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