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Hal Steinbrenner risks tarnishing Yankees brand

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08:14 AM ET 11.19 | After Toronto's blockbuster, some might have been wondering, "What would George do?" The Boss never would have had the discipline to stick with long-range plans to stay under a $189 million payroll in some future date as his son, Hal, has mandated for 2014. ... Hal has insisted the team can stay a championship contender with a huge payroll, but one south of $189 million. Maybe. But does he double down on that theory and chance two straight playoff-less years if the club is playoff-less in 2013? Does he gamble that a fan base used to the constant importation of stars will tolerate every Tom, Dick and Hamilton going elsewhere? Is Hal risking a brand worth billions to recoup the millions that would come from being under $189 million in 2014?

New York Post

Derek Jeter, Getty Images Derek Jeter, Getty Images
November 19, 2012  08:33 AM ET

It's not the amount of money but the value you get as many teams are learning.

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November 19, 2012  09:13 AM ET

New salary rules mean new strategies to maximize return. While there's no salary cap per se, the ever-increasing penalty (tax) that happens when going over the $189 million limit for multiple years makes it a practical salary cap. I'm nor (yet) sure I like it, but Yankee haters are enjoying watching Steinbrenner and company in a flux over it all.

November 19, 2012  09:16 AM ET

I think the George's kids know what many know. That you don't need to have the highest payroll in MLB to win a World Series. I think we just to focus as a team on doing the smart thing and good things will continue to happen.

November 19, 2012  09:35 AM ET

Unless you really believe Hamilton is that good, then there is no free agent worth the big bucks to be had anyways. I am glad they are not throwing money and years at guys like Hunter.

November 19, 2012  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I think the George's kids know what many know. That you don't need to have the highest payroll in MLB to win a World Series. I think we just to focus as a team on doing the smart thing and good things will continue to happen.

4 of the top 6 teams in payroll last year didn't make the playoffs and the Yanks have won one W.S. since they've been way ahead in payroll (Except for Boston). From 1996-2000 their payroll wasn't too far ahead of the next teams in line and in 1998 Baltimore had a higher payroll.

November 19, 2012  10:06 AM ET

It is a good time to lay low in the FA business. They have enough old long term contract guys now. To jump in that pool now would only make it worse for a longer period of time.

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November 19, 2012  10:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I think the George's kids know what many know. That you don't need to have the highest payroll in MLB to win a World Series. I think we just to focus as a team on doing the smart thing and good things will continue to happen.

I think George's kids have decided they'd rather put more of the money the team pulls in in their own pockets instead of baseball player's.

Comment #10 has been removed
November 19, 2012  10:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Good point...I think they want to get the finances in order a bit and get under the luxury tax line to make the franchise more attractive for sale.

Who the heck could afford to buy that franchise? The Sultan of Brunei?

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November 19, 2012  11:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Unless you really believe Hamilton is that good, then there is no free agent worth the big bucks to be had anyways. I am glad they are not throwing money and years at guys like Hunter.

Hunter was a very smart signing for the Tigers considering the need he will serve. They needed to upgrade the 2 spot in the lineup because that was a revolving door this season: Brennan Boesch, Andy Dirks, Quentin Berry and Omar Infante. They also had to upgrade their RF position because it was Boesch, Raburn or Garcia, all either 4A players or tooo young to count on consistently. He will upgrade their defense tremendously which they sorely need and his bat as well. Unlike the Yankees, the Tigers are one or two pieces away when you consider their rotation and the bats. The Yankees rotation is a mess right now. CC and a bunch of queston marks and the lineup is full of players not producing anything close to the level they are being paid.

November 19, 2012  11:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I think George's kids have decided they'd rather put more of the money the team pulls in in their own pockets instead of baseball player's.

What's wrong with that? A $189,000,000 payroll is plenty of money to invest in just the product on the field not to mention what other ways they invest with this franchise.

November 19, 2012  11:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

4 of the top 6 teams in payroll last year didn't make the playoffs and the Yanks have won one W.S. since they've been way ahead in payroll (Except for Boston). From 1996-2000 their payroll wasn't too far ahead of the next teams in line and in 1998 Baltimore had a higher payroll.

Exactly! I think we'll get down to that 189 million dollar threshold and in the years to follow we may even make further reductions in payroll and get a little more youthfull. It will take time though.

November 19, 2012  11:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

What's wrong with that? A $189,000,000 payroll is plenty of money to invest in just the product on the field not to mention what other ways they invest with this franchise.

It all depends on how it is invested. Paying $30 million annually for production in 2012 is hurting the team. 2012: 122 games, .272 average, .353 OBP, .783 OPS 18 HRs, 57 RBI and 116 K's. He's 37 so those numbers aren't likely to improve much.

His OPS has declined every season since 2007, dropping nearly 300 points over that time frame. That doesn't even include his recent playoffs stats 2010-2012, 75 at bats .160 average with ZERO home runs, just two extra base hits.

 
November 19, 2012  12:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Exactly! I think we'll get down to that 189 million dollar threshold and in the years to follow we may even make further reductions in payroll and get a little more youthfull. It will take time though.

The problem with that scenrario is the farm system doesn't have much that is close to being ready. The B&B boys that were supposed to save the rotation both blew up in 2012 and as a result many question if they will pan out in the bigs and if they do will they be anything more than #4 and #5 starters.

They have a three good prospects: Gary Sanchez C, Mason Williams OF and Tyler Austin OF. Austin is only at single A ball so it's not likley he'll contribute before 2014 and Mason Williams is also just in single A and tore his labrum in August.

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