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Despite all the cost-cutting, the Yankees are likely to exceed the luxury tax threshold next year

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Oops.

Jeff Passan reports why the Yankees — whose decision to not sign any significant long-term deals this past offseason despite multiple on-field needs was chalked up to a desire to get under next-year’s $189 million luxury tax threshold — are likely to exceed said threshold nonetheless:

In recent months, the Yankees have become far less bullish on their publicly stated austerity plan, admitting to other executives and agents that staying beneath the $189 million threshold is unlikely and impractical.

“They’re going to be over 189,” one source familiar with the Yankees’ plans said. “They know it. Everyone knows it. You can’t run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars.”

Passan explains why the particular rules of the luxury tax and the revenue sharing system make Plan-$189 million both impractical and, perhaps, less desirable to the Yankees than it once was.

Now, if only there were some good young blue chip free agents to go blow a chunk of change on.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.