Hal Steinbrenner was just on the radio with Michael Kay, and Marc Carig tweeted an interesting quote from the interview:

Hal on payroll: “I can safely say we’re going to stay at the same level.”

This is important information, as it allows us to gauge how the Yankees will approach the offseason. They started 2010 with a payroll of 213 million, and currently have about 145 million tied up in 16 players. That leaves 68 million available for the club to spend in order to stay at the same level. Assuming Derek Jeter gets about 20M, Mariano Rivera gets 15M, and Andy Pettitte returns at about 10M, that leaves 23 million to fill out the roster, with the only real hole remaining being in the rotation.

This means that while the Yankees will target Cliff Lee, they are unlikely to sign any other big name free agents if they can snag the star lefty. Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford are not going to be Yankees, unless Brian Cashman pulls a “Teixeira” and asks for an expanded payroll due to special circumstances. Being that the Yankees do not have real holes in the outfield or the lineup, I doubt he does that again. The Yankees will attempt to sign Lee, and use whatever remains in the budget to sign a cheap lefty reliever and possibly a bargain DH/bench bat. Based on Hal’s statement, there isn’t room for anything else.

11 Responses to “Hal: Payroll To Stay At Same Level”

  1. they should obviosly focus on lee the most. make sure the only way he could decide to sign with texas or somewhere else is NOT because of money. offer him a blank check basically, but at 6 years MAXIMUM!!!! dont have a 39 year old pitcher getting +$25 a year! then use any leftover money to shore up the bullpen and bench. TRY to resign Kerry Wood and i actually think Brian Fuentes would be a good fit too. and call me crazy but how about signing Johnny Damon to be the 4th outfielder/DH? or how about the Melk-man returning? lol  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris Reply:

    No to Damon! His best days are behind him and unless they have power I don’t want a 4th outfielder who can only play LF and poorly! He can’t play RF because of his arm and CF is out of the question because of ability, at this point he is limited in the outfield and barley a DH.

    No to Melky as well he doesn’t have the work ethic to bring him back and really once we got rid of him Cano had his best season.

    Fuentes would be interesting but only on a 1 year deal and for like 2 million or so.

    Wood I would only want on a 1 year deal for 6 or less.  (Quote)

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  2. i just think Damon knows how to hit WELL at the new stadium, and i have the same concern about melky with cano! i also agree on the amounts you’d offer fuentes and wood.  (Quote)

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  3. Don’t forget raises to Phil and Joba. The Yanks will probably have to backload a Lee contract to meet that budget.  (Quote)

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    Steve S. Reply:

    Yeah, I could even see the Yanks having a clear limit on Lee, and if the negotiations go past that then they’ll pursue the trade route.

    But I also think that 20 number is a bit high on Derek. I’m coming around to the notion that folks will be surprised on the downside. I’m only talking around 16-17, so I’m not saying they’ll have room for another big ticket item, just that they’ll have more room to fill out the bench.  (Quote)

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  4. imagine two scenarios

    1. Jeter signs 4 years at $80 million
    2. Jeter doesn’t sign. Nunez replaces him. The Yanks use the extra $80 to sign useful free agents or trade for higher-paid, quality players

    My guess is that Nunez wouldn’t be that much worse than Jeter during the next 4 years. The extra $80 m of salary could strengthen the team by more than the difference between Jeter and Nunez.  (Quote)

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    Clint Reply:

    Its nice to dream..but Jeter WILL be coming back. Its just about how much and for how long at this point. Lets not forget his race to 3000 hits will provide money for the team in and of itself.  (Quote)

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  5. I think what happens in the Jeter & Mariano negotiations is the key to what else we can afford. I’m hoping they don’t combine for more than 30 mil a year.  (Quote)

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  6. i just think Damon knows how to hit WELL at the new stadium, and i have the same concern about melky with cano! i also agree on the amounts you’d offer fuentes and wood.  

    Damon doesn’t play defense well enough to carry his bat in the field and 4th outfielders should be someone with defensive skills and late game replacement ability, a bat is a plus but won’t play enough to truly provide value enough to carry a bad defensive 4th outfielder. That is why Thames saw all his time come from the DH spot after defensive woes.

    Besides Melky being bad for Cano he also just doesn’t produce enough with either side of the ball and goes into way to many long lasting slumps.  (Quote)

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  7. If we could get Mo and Jeter t come back under 30 million a year combined I think we would be realtively lucky.  (Quote)

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  8. If they go after Lee there wouldn’t be space for anyone else, but I think it’s clear there shouldn’t be anyone else we need. The entire starting lineup will be back and with Lee we’d have 5 pitchers to fill out a rotation, and then relievers are a dime a dozen.  (Quote)

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