Three Under-the-Radar Free Agent Upgrades for the Yankees

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With the New York Yankees on track to slip under the luxury tax next year, fans shouldn’t expect the team to hand out any nine-figure deals this winter, but there are a few guys available in the team’s price range who could still provide significant upgrades.

Yankees fans will likely have to endure another winter of frugality given how close principal owner Hal Steinbrenner is to achieving his goal of getting under the luxury tax.

The next collective bargaining agreement is expected to raise the ceiling north of $200 million. If New York makes it under for just one season, they will not longer have to pay a 50% tax on all their free agent signings. While it may make for a less-interesting hot stove league, it is a completely defensible business decision by Steinbrenner.

That said, it’s really unlikely the Yankees go another winter where they abstain from free agency completely. They have some money coming off the books and could unload even more with a Brett Gardner or Brian McCann trade.

Aroldis Chapman seems destined to be New York’s big fish this winter. The Cuban Missile reportedly enjoyed his time in the Bronx, and there is a clear need for additional late-inning help. That will probably be the biggest check Steinbrenner signs, but there are some other smaller names available who could end up having a large impact in 2017.