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12/31/2002 Archived Entry: "Today's MLB News:Yanks Sign Rocket"
Today's MLB News, by Eric Gartman
Clemens Agrees to 2002 Contract- The Yankees signed Roger Clemens to a one-year deal worth 10.1 million, to be paid over 12 years. Clemens will not earn any money in 2003, receiving $600,000 in 2004, $700000, in '05, $900,000 in '06, $950,000 in '07-12 and $1.1 million in 2013 and 2014.
In my article on the 2002 Labor Deal, I noted that the Yankees have showen no signs thus far of trying to avoid the luxury tax. This is the first indication that even the Yankees can't keep spending indefinately. Since the luxury tax grows larger as the payroll grows larger, as well as increases each time the limit is broken, the Yanks finally seem to be trying to limit payroll. The innovative and unusual deal with Clemens is a clear sign of this change. Clemens has agreed to be paid out over a large number of years, giving the Yanks flexibility in their payroll. We may also see more cost-cutting from the Bombers in the days to come. With too many pitchers, the Yanks are likely to try and unload either Stirling Hitchcock, Orlando Hernandez, or Andy Pettitte. We will keep a close eye on the Yankees this offseason to see if the labor deal will finally reel in their spending.