New York Yankees players could lose big money from shortened season

Big money is on the line when MLB finally takes the field in 2020. These five New York Yankees stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in a shortened season.

When Major League Baseball returns from its COVID-19 hiatus, it will be under a drastically different environment than anyone has ever seen. Games without fans or with a limited amount of fans, a shortened season, plus a depressed economy will put a dent in the wallets of anyone associated with MLB. We already know that teams will face unprecedented losses. How about the players? Five New York Yankees could lose a combined $736K per game.

It’s no secret the New York Yankees have the highest payroll in North American sports, at an estimated $241M for their 40-man roster. Cutting down from 162 games could significantly impact what players receive in 2020. To resume play by MLB will have to work in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association. Aside from measures to protect everyone from the coronavirus, many other issues are in play. For example:

  • How many games?
  • When will they be played?
  • Where will they be played (opening sports venues isn’t close to the top of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans to reopen the state)?
  • How many players on each roster to accommodate for what will be a condensed season, no matter how many games are played?

Maybe the most crucial point of contention will be player salaries. When the sides get to the bargaining table, it will likely be all about the “Benjamins.” A pro-rated schedule could mean pro-rated pay. I’m not a lawyer and am not privy to standard baseball contract clauses, or the details of the labor agreement, but there has to be something about a 162-game schedule somewhere.

There is almost no way owners will agree to pay full salaries for an expanded roster during shortened, fan-less season. The players have to know that the economic conditions are different as well. They will have to concede something to make any 2020 season happen. For several New York Yankees, that equals big chunks of money on a per-game basis, according to the Associated Press.

In their analysis, newly signed Bronx Bombers pitcher Gerritt Cole is tied with Mike Trout for the most money earned per game (not even per start) at $222,222. From sixth to 24th place, 18 players make over $150K per contest. That includes Giancarlo Stanton‘s $160,944.

The next tier is 65 players at over $100K per game. Three New York Yankees belong to that group. Masahiro Tanaka, $141,975; Aroldis Chapman, $106,173; and J.A. Happ, $104,938. We aren’t talking about chump change. For perspective, the amount of money these five make is $60K more than Gleyber Torres will get all season ($675K). So there is a huge incentive for the players to get back on the field. The more days missed, the more it costs them.

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