The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Cashman: “We’re still going to outspend everybody else”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 02, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yesterday, Hal Steinbrenner left no doubt that the Yankees plan to get their payroll below $189 million for the 2014 season. Today, Brian Cashman talked about the challenge of actually reaching that number.

On payroll flexibility in the past vs. payroll flexibility in 2014
“I met with Mark Teixeira in D.C. (in the winter of 2008). They had no interest in pursuing that. It’s something I had massive interest in. I kept staying on it, and it was ‘No, no, no.’ It felt like Kuroda this winter. (Ownership was saying) ‘No, we’re not going to stretch the payroll. Unless you move money, you can’t make that fit.’ At some point he made an adjustment. Going forward, especially in that particular year, that is not going to happen. This is something where there’s a strong motivation from a business reason because of how the new basic agreement is set up to get to that level for that year, no question. At the same time, it’s business as usual in terms of, the general manager’s job is to constantly bring to their ownership opportunities. My owner says yes more and his family has said yes on behalf of this franchise more than no when their GM asks for something. We’ve been very fortunate as a Yankee fan base and blessed for a long time by that. That, I think, will continue. But instead of being it being a set budget number that we’re trying to stay within, I think this is a more definitive lane that we’re going to have to bowl within. The safety lanes have now gone up for that year, and you can’t throw a gutterball on that particular year.”

On whether the new CBA hurts the Yankees more than other teams
“I don’t want to say it hurts the Yankees as much as, this is the landscape that everybody has to operate in. The only thing is, how does this landscape affect us with our current commitments? Decisions we made from the past will affect decisions in the short term going forward, until some of those contracts expire, or you move them at some point. A lot of those contrrcts, not that you want to trade them, either have full no-trades or 10-5 rights, so some of those circumstances you just have to hope they stay healthy and productive and they are finishing your career type contracts with the Yankees and you hope that you can maximize your potential with them all, but it will limit your array of choices on those contracts term years because those are legitimate commitments that affect the bottom line.”

On whether the Yankees can keep both Granderson and Cano beyond 2013
“I wouldn’t say. All these things are things that the market will dictate. I know the Cardinals wanted to retain Pujols, but the market took him to another city. That obviously happens. Use the Cardinals as an example; they retained Holliday and maximized the market on Holliday. They were unable to retain Pujols because Pujols maximized himself on the market and another club wanted to be the last team standing. That’s how this stuff can play out. You just can’t predict it. Obviously we love what Robinson Cano does for us, we love what Curtis Granderson does for us. We gravitate to players that we feel can be champions and take us to the next level.”

On Steinbrenner mentioning Betances and Banuelos as keys to making this work
“I would make it more global. I don’t disagree with Hal because those guys, they have higher upsides, higher ceilings, but they might not be the best. For instance, who’s to say Warren orPhelps don’t become (standouts)? Who’s to say the new kid Campos, who’s a baby, three years or four years from now doesn’t become something? We’ve got a lot of guys. Who’s to say Burawa isn’t another Robertson in his own way with the power arm that he’s got? The bottom line, Gene Michaels told us years ago, he said you just collect as many nuggets as possible and sift through it… Hal’s right about those two guys, but just because those are the two guys that are written about, doesn’t mean they’re going to be the guys.”

On whether a set budget actually makes his job easier
“It’s easier when you have parameters. It was very difficult when it was just a general (rule). It would change on a daily basis, which was, ‘Don’t lose the player at all costs.’ That wasn’t a good negotiating position. And if it’s very vocal, and at the same time it’s public and private, you’re in a position to basically get rolled. It’s a one-way negotiation. Having parameters allows you to walk away. Having parameters gives you the ability to say no, and mean it, versus fake a no or try to pretend something when everybody realizes, oh, they can’t lose this guy. It’s an impossible position to negotiate from.”

On the fact no one will believe it until they see it
“And for good reason. For years, we’ve acted a certain way, and it’s hard to change the perception. You see that we’ve been a lot more disciplined, a lot more conservative, a lot more deliberate. But you’ve also seen us deviate from that and make independent decisions that might be outside of the long-term plan, a short-term decision. Soriano, for instance, was a deviation from maybe what our initial groundwork was last year. Kuroda was a deviation this year. Teixeira, that winter at the end, even though some of these were internal debates and conversations throughout, but it shows that you know what? You can go in with an idea but they’re willing to adjust on the run at the same time based on a lot of factors.”

On whether they would think about cutting payroll without the new CBA
“Our payroll doesn’t need to be at this level. It’s at a certain level because of massive commitments that we’ve already made, I think most of which have been very functional and good investments, and have been thus far. But at the same time, look at the Minnesota Twins, look at the Tampa Bay Rays, look at a lot of clubs that are having massive success going about it a different way. And we can incorporate every way. I’ve referenced utilizing every tool in the toolbox. We’re still the Yankees. We’re still going to outspend everybody else. That’s not going to change. We’re still going to be there for our fan base, and try to make sure that every year is a year that they have legitimate hope that this could be a special season. That’s never going to change. But what has changed is not being afraid of trusting our scouting assessments. We’ve tried to hire the best scouts that we can possibly find… That’s roster management. That’s trusting your scouts, believing in them, being able to know what can work for you, what can’t work for you.”

Associated Press photo




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