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Yankee Payroll to Stay "Within the Same Level"

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Prince Hal -

I can safely say we’re going to stay within the same level, but I’m obviously not going to get into details. We know we’re expected to field a championship caliber team and we’re going to do what it takes to do that. If we have to get creative in a trade, or we have to go after a big free agent, we’re going to do that. We do have some money coming off.

The money coming off the 2010 payroll (via Cot's): Derek Jeter ($21M), Mariano Rivera ($15M), Andy Pettitte ($11.7M), Javier Vazquez ($11.5M), Chan Ho Park ($1.2M), Randy Winn ($1.1M), Marcus Thames ($0.9M).  That's a total $62.4M.

Sergio Mitre (Arb 3), Chad Gaudin (Arb 2?), Phil Hughes (Arb 1) and Joba Chamberlain (Arb 1) are all arbitration eligible; they made around a half million dollars each in 2010, and given the arbitration system, are all due for raises.  That makes Mitre and Gaudin non-tender candidates; there are sure to be trade rumors around Joba.

It's worth remembering that the Yanks' payroll is an obscene 30% higher than the next highest payroll, so "within the same level" could mean anywhere from $165M to $250M.