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$100 million on opening day? Not Dodgers, not Yankees, not Angels

March 06, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • The Yankees announced Wednesday that first baseman Mark Teixeira will be out eight to 10 weeks because of a strained right wrist.
The Yankees announced Wednesday that first baseman Mark Teixeira will… (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated…)

For all the hype about the Dodgers' dethroning the New York Yankees as baseball's payroll kings, the Yankees still had been projected to field the highest-priced opening-day lineup.

Until Wednesday, that is.

The Yankees announced Wednesday that first baseman Mark Teixeira would sit out eight to 10 weeks because of a strained right wrist. With Teixeira joining outfielder Curtis Granderson, and third baseman Alex Rodriguez also injured, the Yankees will start the season with three players making a combined $65.5 million on the disabled list.

That is nearly as much as the 10-man lineup the Yankees are likely to field on opening day. That total is an estimated $81 million, assuming the Yankees use the likes of nonroster veterans Juan Rivera ($1.2 million) and Matt Diaz ($1.25 million) to fill in for Teixeira and Granderson.

Shortstop Derek Jeter, who is rehabilitating a broken ankle, has yet to play this spring. He is expected to be ready for opening day. If he is not, however, the Yankees could have $82.5 million worth of four injured guys and an opening-day lineup worth close to $65 million.

The Yankees' opening-day lineup last year totaled $136 million in salary.

The Yankees, of course, have three weeks to acquire reinforcements. For the moment, they are looking at something like this: C.C. Sabathia, P; Francisco Cervelli, C; Rivera, 1B; Robinson Cano, 2B; Jeter, SS; Kevin Youkilis, 3B; Diaz, LF; Brett Gardner, CF; Ichiro Suzuki, RF; Travis Hafner, DH.

Those 10 players combined to hit 99 home runs last season. The Yankees led the majors with 245 home runs, with 10 players in double figures. However, eight of those players are either injured (Granderson, Rodriguez, Teixeira) or departed (Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones).

The Dodgers' projected opening-day lineup totals $90.3 million in salary, with Carl Crawford expected to start the season on the disabled list. The lineup: Clayton Kershaw, P; A.J. Ellis, C; Adrian Gonzalez, 1B; Mark Ellis, 2B; Hanley Ramirez, SS; Luis Cruz, 3B; Skip Schumaker, LF; Matt Kemp, CF; Andre Ethier, RF.

The Angels' projected opening-day lineup totals $74.5 million with Albert Pujols -- or, perhaps more likely, $59 million without him, if the team decides not to risk his surgically repaired knee in the cold of Cincinnati, in a National League ballpark where designated hitter is not an option. That lineup: Jered Weaver, P; Chris Iannetta, C; Mark Trumbo, 1B; Howie Kendrick, 2B; Erick Aybar, SS; Alberto Callaspo, 3B; Mike Trout, LF; Peter Bourjos, CF; Josh Hamilton, RF.

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