Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:13 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 5:40 pm
By Matt Snyder
The New York Yankees are going to be doing a little tightening of the belt. Thursday, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters that the "goal" is to have the payroll below $189 million before the 2014 season. That's not an arbitrary placement or year and monetary figure, either, as baseball's new collective bargaining agreement has set the luxury tax threshold at $189 million and it goes into effect starting in 2014. Also, goal may not be the correct word here.
"I'm looking at it as a goal, but my goals are normally considered requirements," Steinbrenner said (Associated Press). "Is it a requirement with baseball that we be at 189? No, it's not a requirement. But that is going to be the luxury-tax threshold, and that's where I want to be."
The Yankees were hit with a $13.9 million luxury tax last season.
The Yankees are heading for opening day with a payroll of around $210 million this season, according to Steinbrenner. Here's what the opening day payrolls have looked like since 2004, the last time the Yankees weren't over $189 million, via Baseball Prospectus' Cot's Contracts:
Steinbrenner sounds like he wants to -- at least mildly -- shift focus, too.
"I'm a finance geek. I guess I always have been. That's my background," he said (MLB.com). "Budgets matter, and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player development side and you have a good farm system, you don't need a $220 million payroll. You don't. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent."
It's going to be interesting to see how they squeeze down under the threshold, because Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez are due to make over $70 million combined in 2014. Derek Jeter has an $8 million player option, too. You also have to assume Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are going to command huge paydays (both have club options in 2013 but are free agents after that). Brett Gardner and David Robertson will be in their final year of arbitration while Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda are also still under club control. Otherwise, the roster will have to be filled out from the farm system, trades or free agency.
The Yankees do have some promising young prospects like pitchers Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos.
"We'll see how these young kids perform towards the end of this year and into next year," Steinbrenner said (AP). "The young kids are going to play a big part of being able to lower this payroll. I am going to need some of these young pitchers to step up."
Still, the bottom line is we might be seeing a lot more offseasons like this one -- where the Yankees take a backseat on the huge free agent signings.
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Posted on: May 12, 2011 10:20 am
By Matt Snyder
BASEBALL TODAY: See the video above for my takes on Justin Masterson, Zach Britton, Daniel Hudson, the Angels without Kendrys Morales and Jake Peavy's encouraging first start of 2011.
OVERTHINK MUCH? Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner had a theory as to why Derek Jeter was struggling earlier in the season. It's that Jeter was pressing due to feeling the pressure of the upcoming 3,000-hit milestone. "I'm not concerned about Derek," Steinbrenner told the New York Post. "Milestones can be difficult. They can be a big weight on a guy." Oh, yeah, and then this: "He's obviously broken through that and is hitting well now." As if right on cue, Jeter went out and had an 0-6 day Wednesday night. So is he feeling the pressure again? Let's all take a deep breath and realize guys are going to have ups and downs over the course of 162 games. You too, Hal.
FIRST OF MANY: Royals prospect-turned-first baseman Eric Hosmer went yard in Yankee Stadium Wednesday night for the first home run of his very young career. To top things off, he came through with the go-ahead RBI on a sacrifice fly in extra innings. He's sure to see some hills and valleys throughout his rookie season, but thus far he's been really solid. Cling to that .250 batting average if you must, as Hosmer's sporting a .409 on-base percentage and a .909 OPS, which is outstanding.
BACK ON TRACK: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro started the season absolutely on fire, but then drastically cooled. In fact, he recently had a 12-game stretch where he hit .137 with an abysmal .311 OPS. The Cubs' rivals came to town, Mike Quade dropped Castro in the order and things seem to be back where Starlin likes them. In the past two games, he's 6-8 with a triple, four RBI, three runs and a walk.
MORE HUG-GATE: Wednesday in Pepper we discussed the completely meaningless yet somehow blown out of proportion hug between Albert Pujols and Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Hendry laughed about the talk that fateful embrace sparked. Pujols offered up his thoughts on the situation Wednesday afternoon. "I figured that would happen, that they would play with it," Pujols said. "At the end, it's not what you do on the field. It's what kind of person you are off the field. That's the kind of relationship you want to build with somebody you respect. He's on the other side. I'm on our side. I just think it's kind of ridiculous. Three writers came and talked to me about that and the contract. "Are you serious? C'mon." (StLtoday.com) Meanwhile, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times says Cubs fans should forget about Pujols for two reasons: 1. He's not signing with the Cubs; 2. They'll be better off in the long-haul for it.
TORRE SETTLING IN: Joe Torre is ready to attend the first owner's meetings in his new role of executive vice president of baseball operations. The first meeting's agenda doesn't appear to have any impact in terms of on-field play, but there is one interesting nugget in this article: Torre's reason to retire from managing was that he couldn't take losing anymore. "It wasn't balanced out by the winning anymore. I hated it," Torre said. "I was more ready not to do what I've been doing for years. When the Commissioner made this job offer to me, I asked him a few times if he thought I could do it. It was the insecurity of not knowing what the job entailed, even though it's baseball-related. But it has been fun and very energizing for me." Good for him. Honestly, he's 70, who needs that kind of day-in, day-out stress at that age anyway? (MLB.com)
I MIGHT BE A SADIST, BUT ... : Grant Brisbee over at SB Nation asked how much money it would take to step into the batter's box and face Aroldis Chapman right now -- keeping in mind that he can hit 105 on the radar gun and has walked nine of the last 14 batters he's faced. The stipulation is that you could wear a helmet but no "Barry Bonds armor." Honestly, I'd give it a go for free just to see what it looked like from there. My biggest issue isn't so much the fear of getting drilled, but the fact that he's left-handed (I'm a lefty and they always had me mentally whipped when I played). Then again, I haven't been hit with a pitch in probably 11 years and never took one more than 90 mph. Maybe I'll take some cash for the fictional at-bat afterall.
CREDIT WHERE DUE: Tigers manager Jim Leyland was going to give slugging first baseman Miguel Cabrera the day off Wednesday to give him a few days off (the Tigers have an off-day Thursday) before a weekend series to rest his sore back. Instead, Cabrera waved him off and insisted on playing. (MLB.com) Keep this in mind whenever you hear people complaining about how the guys only play for the money and don't really care about the results. Sitting down would have had no effect on Cabrera's earnings. Since the complainers like to use real-world examples, compare this to having your boss tell you to take the day off and you insisting on staying at work (yeah, sure you would). Oh, and he had a two-RBI double in the fifth to give the Tigers the lead. They would win 9-7.
IN THE CINCY AREA AND LIKE SMOKED MEATS? The Reds have put in a new restaurant called Mr. Red's Smokehouse, and it will open Friday for the first game of the Reds' series against the Cardinals. On the menu, you'll find smoked ribs, turkey legs, pulled pork and chicken wings -- in addition to rotating specialty items. This weekend's item is "smoked Cardinal" (it's actually quail). Click here for a video tour of the new smokehouse.
HAIL DELAY: Via Big League Stew, here's a video of the hailstorm that caused an hour-plus delay to Tuesday night's Twins-Tigers game in Minnesota. Yes, that is golf-ball sized hail and a good amount of it.
IF YOU CARE ABOUT DYKSTRA: I'm pretty well over him at this point, and have been for years. If you are interested in what's become of Lenny Dykstra's life, according to this interview, by all means click through and read it. Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com got an exclusive interview with Dykstra's limo driver.
HIDE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN: Roger McDowell's suspension is almost over, as he'll rejoin the Braves Friday and resume his duties as their pitching coach. (MLB.com) I'd encourage fans across America to heckle him and test if those sensitivity classes paid off.
CANADIAN DOLLARS: An interesting discussion here, in that -- as long as the Canadian dollar is valued higher than the American dollar -- players for the Blue Jays are actually earning more money than their contracts dictate, assuming they cash checks in Canada. It's the exact opposite of how it used to be, when players used to get traded to either the Expos or Blue Jays and take a hit. (Slam Sports)
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Tags: AL Central, AL Central, AL East, Albert Pujols, Albertageddon, Angels, Aroldis Chapman, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Daniel Hudson, Derek Jeter, Diamondbacks, Eric Hosmer, Giants, Hal Steinbrenner, Indians, Jake Peavy, Jim Hendry, Jim Leyland, Joe Torre, Justin Masterson, Kendrys Morales, Lenny Dykstra, Matt Cain, Miguel Cabrera, NL Central, NL West, Orioles, Reds, Roger McDowell, Royals, Starlin Castro, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Zach Britton
Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 3:47 pm
When one hears the name "Steinbrenner" these days, you either think about the Yankees owner that passed away after restoring the Yankees' brand to America's consciousness, or you think of his son, Hank.
But what you don't think of is Hal, who runs the Yankees along with Hank and prefers to stay in the background. However, with Brian Cashman (pictured) making headlines for his belief New York should not have signed Rafael Soriano, saying Derek Jeter could become a center fielder and moonlighting as a bartender, Hal felt compelled to step in to clear the air.
"[Cashman] and I have a great working relationship," Steinbrenner told the New York Post, saying he does not believe Cash is trying to get fired or create a rift in the organization. "There is no problem, right now. I think we have had a bunch of drummed-up drama."
The drama has largely focused around Cashman's words about Soriano, indicating he was displeased by the organization's choice to sign the reliever and surrender a first-round pick. Given Cashman did not make the final call there, some have wondered as to his autonomy.
"I value his opinion and his advice," Steinbrenner said. "That does not mean I am always going to go with that advice and all of my VPs know that I might go a different way. There are no hard feelings between Cash and I. There never was. Reasonable men can differ in opinions.
"I keep reading about dissension and discord. We are a well-functioning company. The bosses have a decision to make. Sometimes people don't agree with those decisions. So I told him, 'You are always honest with the media, be honest now. Tell them what you have to tell them.' I was already onto the next decision. I told him, 'You and I are fine. Answer in any way you want.' We are not always going to be on the same page. It is my job to think what is best for the family, partners and company."
The drama includes Cashman's future with the Yankees, with many openly speculating that New York was not pleased by Cashman's "recruiting" of Cliff Lee, the rough negotiations with Derek Jeter and how Cashman has tired of the organization. But in recent interviews, Cashman has debunked all speculation, and Hal went a step further, saying the goal is to keep Cashman as GM beyond 2011, when his contract expires.
And Hal made clear that not all of the offseason blame game should be heaped on Cashman. When Jeter's agent came out with statements that called New York's negotiation techniques "baffling," the Yankees (via Cashman) responded that Jeter was welcome to shop the offer. That came straight from Hal, apparently.
"I will return fire when fired upon," he said. "I do have some of the old man [George Steinbrenner] in me."
But despite all the hubbub, perhaps the most offended Yankees fans got was when Cashman admitted the Red Sox were stronger on paper. He had to defend himself from angry Yankee fans (never mind that the Red Sox actually are stronger on paper, at least for now) and point out that championships are won on the field and in the summer, not on paper in the winter. And Hal Steinbrenner has no problem with Cash's statements to that regard.
"My understanding was he was asked in an objective way about the different areas of the team and said our hitting was on par with the Red Sox, our bullpen is better and their starting pitching, right now, is a little stronger," Steinbrenner said.
"Really, there are no problems at all," Steinbrenner added. "Brian calls me on my cell phone more often than I would even like. He and I talk on a daily basis multiple times. There is not much that he does without consulting me first. This has been a very good relationship."
UPDATE: Brian Cashman spoke to FOX Sports about the issue Friday. This wide-ranging comment from Cashman says it all:
-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: January 19, 2011 1:56 pm
The signing of Rafael Soriano didn't seem like a Brian Cashman move -- especially after he'd said publicly he wasn't going to do it -- and now it's official. At Wednesday's press conference, Cashman admitted it was Hal Steinbrenner's call to sign the Rays closer.
"I didn't recommend it just because I just didn't think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we had," Cashman said (via the New York Times ) . "We had a lot of debate about it. Like everything on the free-agent market and trade market, you discuss it, make your recommendations to ownership, and they choose what direction they prefer to go given the circumstances. My preferece was waiting. They obviously acted, and we are better."
Steibrenner, apparently, was the one willing to shell out a the three-year, $35 million contract to Soriano, who will serve as a set-up man to Mariano Rivera. Cashman said he didn't feel Steinbrenner's veto was a challenge to his power.
"I think it's certainly a sign at times if Hal wants to go different directions that could happen," Cashman said. "I think that's certainly the case. This is their team. Does that happen often? Will it happen a lot? I just think it depends on the circumstances what the comfort level is taking place at the time. Not to say it won't happen again, not to say it will. It's hard to say."
The biggest issue was the fact Soriano is a Type A free agent, meaning the Yankees must give up their first-round pick to the Rays as compensation. The 2011 draft is seen as one of the deepest in years. Cashman said he didn't want to give up that pick for a set-up man. He was willing to give it up for Cliff Lee.
"I think 29 clubs would love to have Rafael Soriano thrown down their throats," Cashman said (via ESPNNewYork.com ).
Team president Randy Levine told ESPNNewYork.com that there is no rift in the organization and the team is happy with Cashman, there was just a difference of opinion and in the end, the ones who sign the check have the last word.
"Cash is the best general manager in the game," Levine said.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: November 2, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 5:45 pm
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner made the rounds on New York radio on Tuesday and said the team would keep its payroll about the same as 2010 and its top priority is signing Cliff Lee.
From the Star-Ledger 's Marc Carig , who listened to talk radio so we didn't have to, here's what Steinbrenner had to say:
• On payroll: "I can safely say we're going to stay within the same level. I'm obviously not going to get into details. But we know we're expected to field a championship-caliber team and we're going to do what it takes to do that. So, if we have to get creative in a trade, or if we have to go out for a big free agent, we're going to do that."
• Steinbrenner said the team has already reached out to the agents for free agent Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
• On the apology from Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, he said Greenberg to him his remarks were "ridiculous, if not stupid."
UPDATE: The Daily News ' Mark Feinsand has more , including this nugget about re-signing Jeter: "How long that takes might be frustrating for the fans. Maybe it won’t be. We definitely want them back. There’s no doubt."
Feinsand noted Steinbrenner said negotiations with Jeter "could get messy."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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