Or: why payroll size matters less than what you do with it.
It's bad luck, yes, but it's also the inevitable result of signing older players to bloated contracts. We have noted the amount of money sitting on the New York's disabled list before, but we couldn't think of a starker way to highlight this than to choose the five most prominent injured Yankees, and total up their contributions this year.
In 2013, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, and Kevin Youkilis have started 51 games, and made 212 plate appearances—roughly the numbers for a platoon player at this point in the season.
Those five Yankees have 186 at-bats, and 38 hits, for a .204 batting average.
They have 15 extra-base hits, including six home runs, for a .346 slugging percentage. They've totaled 18 walks and 56 strikeouts.
However, they are a perfect 1-for-1 on stolen base attempts.
The five Yankees have a 2013 output nearly identical to that of White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers. The difference? Combined, Rodriguez, Jeter, Teixeira, Granderson, and Youkilis are being paid $94.5 million this season. One example of what you can get for $94.5 million: the Baltimore Orioles.