NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Yankees have had quite an interesting offseason.
Historically known to be major spenders, the Bronx Bombers have been quiet this winter. They re-signed Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Ichiro Suzuki, but weren’t major players in the free-agent market.
Their one major splash — if you want to call it that — was signing Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million contract.
They lost a ton of power from their roster, as Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Russell Martin and Nick Swisher signed with other clubs.
The relative inactivity of general manager Brian Cashman has left Yankees fans perplexed. Cashman has repeatedly said that the Yankees are aiming to lower their payroll to avoid paying MLB’s luxury tax, and he even went as far to say that “beggars can’t be choosers.”
But now Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has spoken, and he’s pleased with the job that his general manager has done this offseason.
Still, he insists that the Yanks aren’t finished in their pursuit of improving the club.
“We’ve signed three or four of the biggest free agents on the market, and we’re pretty happy with that,” Steinbrenner said at the Major League Baseball Owners Meetings. ”It’s great to have Andy back and Kuroda and Ichiro. Youkilis, I’m excited about. I’ve always liked him as a player. We’ve got some work to do, still. We need another bat. We’re not done yet.”
Playing in arguably the most difficult division in all of baseball, Cashman has been looking to upgrade the offense. Reports have indicated that the defending American League East champions have been in talks with the Nationals about acquiring right-handed hitter Michael Morse and have spoken with the agent of ex-Met Scott Hairston.
“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 [million] next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced that the team I see we put together is a championship-caliber team … I believe that you don’t have to have a $220 million payroll to win a world championship, and you shouldn’t have to.”
The Yankees were swept by the Tigers in the American League Championship Series, and boos swept through Yankee Stadium on numerous occasions. Frustration from much of the fan base has carried into the winter months, and Steinbrenner doesn’t understand the negative sentiment.
“I’m surprised to hear that there’s anger, if you see what we’ve done this offseason,” Steinbrenner said. “Like I said, we’ve signed three or four of the top free agents on the market. We’re going to continue to field a championship-caliber team. I’m a little surprised to hear that.”
Do you think Cashman will make a splash before spring training, or is the roster pretty much set? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…