New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed on Tuesday that the club will have a higher payroll in 2022 than it did in 2021, and claimed that he has "latitude" as part of his press availability session at the GM meetings.
"Do I have a set budget? No. Do I [feel] I have some direction? Yes, and clearly it was mission accomplished from last year, getting under the CBT (Competitive Balance Tax)," Cashman said. "[Payroll is going to have to be higher] because we don't have a lot of stuff coming off. I have some latitude."
Here's video of Cashman's comments:
The Yankees had an Opening Day payroll of $197 million last season. According to Cot's Contracts projections, they're currently slated to run an Opening Day payroll of about $210 million without any external additions. Of course, the Yankees could trim that number if they move on from the likes of first baseman Luke Voit, catcher Gary Sánchez or any number of other arbitration-eligible players without a locked spot.
The Yankees were able to stay underneath the CBT line, as Cashman alluded to, meaning that they will not be charged as a repeat offender next winter should they go above the tax line. That news is primarily of concern for the owners, the Steinbrenner family, who get to save a trifling amount as a result.
Still, the Yankees are expected to be active on the free-agent and trade markets, with top free-agent shortstops such as Carlos Correa and Corey Seager standing out as possible fits. The Yankees also need to address their catching position (though Sánchez's presence and the lack of good alternatives on the open market could complicate that) and decide whether they can rely on Voit at the cold corner.
It should be noted that Cashman said he's had only one conversation with the agent of free-agent first baseman Anthony Rizzo.