So you want to rebuild a farm system? Well to do that you’ll need some decent draft picks, a decent amount of international appeal, and oh yeah… a good chunk of cash. The Yankees may not have the draft choices in 2014 but they certainly have a plan and a lot of money to rebuild a minor league system that has been in turmoil for years now. The Bombers have spent big coming into the season, but now it’s time for them to build and prepare for the future. With rumors circulating about the Yankees supposed plans to shatter the international free agent spending limit, it’s time to examine just what they are working with.
The Yankees are slated to have $2,193,100 dollars as their fund for international free agency. Out of all Major League teams, this is ranked as the 17th highest fund. International spending is strictly monitored by Major League Baseball, and teams who go over it will be forced to incur quite a bit of penalties is future years. If a team runs up a bigger receipt that the allotted budget, they’ll have to pay 100% tax on each contract. But, according to what we’ve continuously heard, the Yankees don’t care. It’s time to rebuild the farm system and they see international free agency as their best option right now. So rumor has it that the Yanks are planning to bust the bank this July (when teams are permitted to sign the young foreign stars) and spend somewhere around $15 million dollars which would force them to pay $15 million dollars in tax penalties. They’ll also be under strict restrictions in the following years but the Yankees are willing to throw down. This year’s crop of foreign youngsters (somewhere between 15-17 years of age) is considered a particularly talented class and the Yankees are willing to bank on a perfect storm before rumblings of an International Draft become reality. They’ve been reported to have verbal contracts with many of the more high-profile free agents but these could fall through by the time signing starts.
Back here in the States (and Canada) the Yankees forfeited their first three picks in the 2014 Amateur Draft after going on a star-studded spending spree this off-season and won’t have a pick until the second round (55th Pick). Even in the second round they should be able to grab a pretty good prospect or two like they did last year with second baseman, Gosuke Katoh who exceeded all expectations in 2013 after they grabbed him with the 66th pick in the draft. But they’ll need to sign those guys and for that, Major League Baseball has allowed them to spend a total of $3,202,300 dollars. That’s the second lowest draft budget in baseball, just in front of the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees could grab two very nice players with this money but they might have to draft some lesser caliber players in the later rounds in order to afford them all. All this is very doable and we’ll wait and see how the Yankees invest that cash.
It’s time to rebuild. The Yankees can compete this year but they need to prepare for the future. They’ve put together a plan and and it seems that money is no barrier at some points. Last year the Yankees did a great job at the Amateur Draft to start out this process, but it’s time to take the second step. The Bombers have the lure and money to bring in the best international prospects this year, and I don’t think they’ll let anything get in their way. They’ll do their best to take advantage of their draft budget no matter how small and hopefully they’ll be able to mend a broken farm system and build the team of the future.