The New York Yankees have had a fairly mundane offseason.
Not only did they avoid pursuing big name free agents, but they let some of their own impact players head to other cities.
This willingness to allow key players to walk has led many Yankee fans to become concerned with the direction that management is leading the team.
I wrote an article a few weeks back about how if the Yankees were committed to staying under the 2014 $189 million luxury tax line, they may be forced to rebuild.
The team simply doesn’t have enough current talent on its roster to compete in 2014 and 2015, and the farm system isn’t in a condition to fill the team’s voids.
However, today I can happily follow up and inform Yankee fans that the $189 million luxury tax mark is nothing to lose sleep over.
In a Wall Street Journal article published yesterday, Hal Steinbrenner was quoted as saying,
“We will always field a championship-caliber team. Is our goal 189 next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced that the team I see we put together is a championship-caliber team.”
As a Yankee fan, I couldn’t be happier to read these words.
For all the criticism Hal Steinbrenner has received over the past few months, this interview signifies he is leading the team in the right direction.
You want the Yankees to be somewhat fiscally responsible.
Eventually cutting payroll is a good thing for the team and the fans alike. It will help the Yankees maximize their own revenue, which will hopefully make it less likely that they increase ticket prices and incur ridiculous costs on the fans.
But you also want the Yankees to stay committed to building a winner.
By staying open to exceeding the $189 million mark, Hal is giving Brian Cashman and his staff flexibility. They now have the opportunity to bring in players that will allow the team to stay competitive in the AL East for years to come.
While doing this, the Yankees can also continue to develop their highly touted Single A prospects and can look to keep improving their farm system.
Lastly, Hal ended the interview, saying “I’m a little surprised to hear about the anger. But look, all I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change.”
As a season ticket holder myself, I can’t ask for anything more from the team’s owner.
He may not be his father, but Hal Steinbrenner is stepping up to the plate and assuring fans that the Yankees will settle for nothing but excellence.
How could he possibly send a better message than that?