Hal Steinbrenner: Yankees ‘Don’t Need $220 Million Payroll’

TAMPA, Fla. (WFAN/AP) — Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner says it’s his goal to lower the team’s payroll to $189 million over the next few years.

“I’m a finance geek,” Steinbrenner said Thursday. “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.”

Under baseball’s new labor contract, the luxury tax threshold will be at $189 million after the 2013 season.

“Is it a requirement with baseball that we hit 189? No, it’s not a requirement,” Steinbrenner said. “But that is going to be the luxury tax threshold and that’s where I want to be. I don’t think it’s an unrealistic goal.”

LISTEN: Hal on Yankees’ payroll

Steinbrenner said this season’s payroll is around $210 million. He feels the Yankees can be successful at a lower level with a strong player-development system.

“I’m just not convinced we need to be as high as we’ve been in the past to field a championship-caliber team,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ll see who comes off (salary-wise) in the next couple years.”

The Yankees were hit with a $13.9 million luxury tax for last season. New York’s final 2011 payroll was $212.7 million.

“I’m looking at it as a goal,” said Steinbrenner. “But my goals are normally are considered a requirement.”

New York has a number of promising prospects, including 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. “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.”

Steinbrenner again reiterated that he’s not planning to work on any in-season contract extensions.

“Right now I just want to get through this season before we talk to anybody,” Steinbrenner said.

Steinbrenner gave his support to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who had a difficult personal offseason. Cashman’s wife filed divorce papers last month, a day after prosecutors charged a woman with stalking him and extorting money over an extramarital affair.

“I’m not going to get into personal situations of employees,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not Yankee business. I can only say that we’re here to support him.”

As for the upcoming season, Steinbrenner is upbeat about the defending AL East champions.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I think we’ve got, on paper, definitely a better team than we did last year. I think our starting pitching is improved, and that was one of our goals during the offseason.”

New York has added starting pitchers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda.

The Yankees open spring training play on Friday with an exhibition against the University of South Florida.

Yankees fans, are you OK with a $189 million payroll? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • flea

    Mets, here we come….lol

  • Poppa D

    Will you lower ticket prices?

  • Good move

    The only reason he is doing it is because we are funding teams like Toronto and Tampa bay with the payroll tax.You cut the pay and those teams go back to being extremely bad.

  • big jay

    two things

    210 million minus aros equals way below 189 million

    so if they lower payroll will they lower ticket prices for a “lesser” product

    • big jay

      arod not aros

  • DeLisle

    I don’t think the number is significant, if you have front office personnel gifted in development, scouting and coaching. Clearly other teams have been successful deploying this strategy. However in the case of the Yankees, this will not be as seamless as Hal hopes. Case in point: if you knew that 2014 would be a budgetary benchmark, and that you were focused on building from depth, why would you trade an Austin Jackson, Arodys Vizcaino, and now, Jesus Montero as a prelude to that? The fact is that the Yankees are not blessed with the personnel, at this time, that will hold a proposed trade or acquisition up to the type of scrutiny that will err on the side of sound judgment. The Yankees don’t develop, they trade. So as a consequence, I see them forcing the budget to the $189 mil level but fielding a team, teams, that will not be championship caliber. And isn’t that the Yankees mission statement?

  • skibun

    It makes him $31 million richer. His father cared less about the money, and more about fielding the BEST team money could buy!! GO YANKEES!!!

  • Pete

    HOW DARE THEY! They absolutely MUST have a $200 Million payroll. What are they, the Kansas City Royals or something? $189 Million! God.

    That was 100% sarcasm.

    You can be just as successful at 189 as you can at 210. Good for Hal, he should want to lower the payroll.

  • G-men

    With that kind of money being spent per season ! If you don’t win it all it’s not worth it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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