With all of the Dan Haren rumors floating around, I thought it’d be a great time to look at the 2011 Yankee payroll. The 2010 Yankee payroll sits at $206 million, so let’s use that as a bench mark. Three key pieces of this year’s team (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte) will all become free agents in the off-season. I think we can all agree that the Yankees will retain the Jeter and Rivera while the option will be there for the 38-year-old Pettitte to return.

So let’s take a look at the Yankees 2011 commitments while making educated guesses for the soon-to-be free agents and players who are becoming arbitration eligible. Keep in mind too that the Yankees highly covet free-agent pitcher, Cliff Lee.

In terms of pure commitments for 2011, here’s the list:

Player Salary
A. Rodriguez 31
C. Sabathia 23
M. Teixeira 22.5
A. Burnett 16.5
J. Posada 13.1
R. Cano 11
N. Swisher 9
C. Granderson 8.25
D. Marte 4
K. Igawa 4
  142.35
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
       

So the Yankees have roughly $142 million committed to their 2011 club. It’s a forgone conclusion that Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will resign with the team, so let’s add them in at their 2010 salary rates.

Player Salary
A. Rodriguez 31
C. Sabathia 23
M. Teixeira 22.5
D. Jeter 21
A. Burnett 16.5
M. Rivera 15
J. Posada 13.1
R. Cano 11
N. Swisher 9
C. Granderson 8.25
D. Marte 4
K. Igawa 4
  178.35

So the Yankees are sitting at a cool $178 million for 16 players. Both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are arbitration-eligible, so for arguments sake, let’s say they collected a combined $8 million. That puts the Yankees at $186 million for 18 players.

Now, let’s add in league minimums for Brett Gardner, David Robertson, Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Boone Logan and Alfredo Aceves. The 2011 Yankee payroll is $188 million for 23 players.

So, after looking at the payroll and roster, two notable names are missing from the list:

Andy Pettitte and Javier Vazquez.

I don’t think anyone expects both Vazquez and Pettitte to return in 2011. However, if Pettitte decides he wants to come back for a 17th season, he’ll make another $12 million, pushing the Yankee payroll beyond $200 million. Is there enough room for Cliff Lee?

If Pettitte decides to return, expect the Yankees to set an all-time payroll high in 2011. Cliff Lee will likely command $20 million per year for at least five seasons. Given the Yankees interest and determination to even acquire Lee this year, he will be in the Bronx next season.

Here’s the complete 2011 projected payroll. Of course, unforeseen bench players will be added in, but here’s my best guess.

Player Salary
A. Rodriguez 31
C. Sabathia 23
M. Teixeira 22.5
D. Jeter 21
C. Lee 20
A. Burnett 16.5
M. Rivera 15
J. Posada 13.1
A. Pettitte 12
R. Cano 11
N. Swisher 9
C. Granderson 8.25
P. Hughes 5
D. Marte 4
K. Igawa 4
J. Chamberlain 3
F. Cervelli 0.5
B. Gardner 0.5
B. Logan 0.5
R. Pena 0.5
A. Aceves 0.5
D. Robertson 0.5
  221.35