How could Yankees upcoming free agents be affected?
The New York Yankees will have several free agents following the 2020 season, including DJ LeMahieu, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka. All three free agents were expected to get pricy contracts due to the shortened season, but they may not receive their full value this off-season.
The upcoming free-agent class is filled with many star-studded names including Mookie Betts, who was expected to receive a contract well over $300 million just a couple months ago. Now, it may not happen since owners may not have the financial means to make that possible.
As for the Yankees, is it possible to keep all three players? The answer is simple. It is much more likely to happen than it was in February, but it is still a far shot from Brian Cashman being able to retain all three players.
Each player was expected to get at least $15 million annually each, with Paxton and Tanaka expected to get somewhere around the $20 million figure. Now that upcoming contracts may be much smaller in length and AAV, this may come to the Yankees advantage.
If Cashman could somehow get LeMahieu to sign for another two years at $13 million a season, the Yankees are already saving at least three or four million a year. If they could get Tanaka and Paxton around $16 million a year, that could be another potential saving of at least $10 million between the two players.
These figures are rough estimates and possibly over exaggerations, but there is no question that the free-agent market could see many players signing with their current teams in hopes of landing a bigger contract in the future.
While it is still unlikely to find all three of these players in pinstripes next season, it is much more likely to happen now than it did during Spring Training. Maybe Cashman makes some surprise signing bargains and keeps them all. But that time may or may not come.