Hal Steinbrenner says Yankees will spend more if team isn't 'championship-caliber'
Hal Steinbrenner has made it clear that the New York Yankees are steadfast in getting the team's payroll under $189 million by the 2014 season — even if it means not re-signing valuable Yankees players and passing on desirable high-profile free agents.
Much to the chagrin of longtime Bronx Bomber fans, Hal and his brother Hank are committed to showing everyone this ain't their daddy's Yankees.
“All I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change,” Steinbrenner said. “We will always field a championship-caliber team. Is our goal 189 next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced if the team I see, that we’ve put together, is a championship-caliber team.”
Asked if that meant the $189 million luxury tax threshold was a number carved in stone, Steinbrenner said, "I've been resolute that that is our goal, and that is our goal. But I've also said, including spring training a year ago, that to achieve that goal, these young players have to step up and get the job done."
Steinbrenner specifically mentioned Manny Banuelos and Michael Pineda — two young pitchers who suffered injuries last season after being touted as key additions. Losing two young players is a big deal on a team that makes the Knicks look downright youthful.
Concerning the criticism by some old school fans who yearn for the free-spending ways of his dad, George Steinbrenner, Hal sounded like he was satisfied with Brian Cashman's off-season pick-ups.
"I'm surprised to hear that there's anger, if you see what we've done this off-season ... we've signed three or four of the top free agents that were on the market, because we're going to continue to field a championship caliber team."