TAMPA, Fla. — Hal Steinbrenner took to the airwaves on Tuesday to detail his vision of the Yankees’ future, one he said won’t include the kind of megadeal Robinson Cano is reportedly seeking.
“I don’t feel this organization is ready to do something like that,” Steinbrenner said on ESPN Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show” of the 10-year, $300-million-plus contract sources say the second baseman has asked for.
Steinbrenner said the organization very much wants Cano back, as general manager Brian Cashman said last week, but not at any cost.
“It sounds like he wants to go out and test the market and talk to whoever he needs or wants to talk to, and that’s not unusual, of course,” the Yankees’ managing general partner said during a WFAN interview with Mike Francesa. “We want him back. He knows that. And within reason, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that happens, but time will tell.”
While Hal spoke to various outlets, his older brother, Hank, spoke outside George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa to Newsday and The Associated Press.
Hank Steinbrenner addressed many of the same topics Hal did, including the stated organizational goal of bringing payroll to $189 million this offseason in order to avoid a huge luxury-tax hit. Hank said it is not a mandate — “we’re going to be flexible on it,” he said — but added there will be huge advantages should the club reach that threshold. It would result in money, including additional savings because of revenue sharing, that will be put back into the team for future seasons.
“That makes it more possible’ in ’15, ’16, ’17 and beyond to do what we’ve always done — do whatever we need to do to win,” he said.
Speaking earlier on the topic, Hank said: “The 189 is just a one-year thing. It’s not a permanent thing. If we can deal with that, we’re going to try and do that and that will make it easier for us in the future. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be able to make some moves (this offseason).”
There are plenty of moves to be made, starting, the Yankees hope, this week with Joe Girardi. The team made Girardi a three-year offer in the range of $13 million to $15 million Friday. It would make Girardi, who just finished his sixth season as manager, among the highest paid managers in the game.
Girardi’s current three-year, $9-million contract, signed after the 2010 season, expires at the end of the month and he could choose to talk to his hometown Cubs and/or the Nationals, both of whom are interested in his services.
“It’s up to him now,” Hank Steinbrenner said of Girardi.
Like Hal, Hank did not have much to say regarding Alex Rodriguez’s arbitration hearing and the $27.5 million a seasonlong suspension would save the Yankees.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” he said.
Of the 85-77 season, Hank Steinbrenner called it “disappointing,” but also acknowledged the slew of injuries that crippled the team.
“The injuries were catastrophic,” he said. “I’ve been in baseball 40 years and I haven’t seen anything like it … it’s amazing how they hung in for as long as they did.”
Which isn’t to say 2013 was acceptable. Hank Steinbrenner said “absolutely” the goal is the same every year as it was under his father, George: winning the World Series.
“That will never change,” he said.
Doing so, however, will take more help from the farm system than the Yankees have been getting, a reason ownership convened a meeting in August to address the issue.
“One of the things you have to have, and it’s one of the things that made the team in the ’90s possible, you still have to have the farm system,” Hank Steinbrenner said. “The core of that team was still our guys from our farm system … But we’re still going to do everything we can to win the World Series every year. When we can, we’ll spend what we have to spend. And most important of all, we’ve got to build, or at least to what we have in the farm system.”