The management and brass of the Yankees have repeatedly said they want to cut the payroll to $189 million, while still spending big bucks on free agents.
The Yankees' initial main targets are expected to include their own Robinson Cano, Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to sources.
Cano has reportedly wanted a 10-year contract worth over $300 million when he becomes a free agent.
Beltran, 36, is nearing the end of a two-year, $26 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
More from ESPN.com:
A source said the Yankees are shedding around $85 million to $90 million in payroll from their 2013 numbers, which includes the salaries of retiring players Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte as well as Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Curtis Granderson becoming free agents. The Yankees have a strong interest in Kuroda returning and would be amenable to Granderson if he took the one-year qualifying offer.JAFFE: Mulling every possible World Series matchup
Derek Jeter has a player option that he can pick up that will drop his salary from $17 million to $9.5 million.
Outfielders Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano will be paid nearly $44 million next season but only a fraction of it will be paid by the Yankees because of trade agreements with the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago Cubs, respectively.