Friday, February 22, 2013

Is $189m mandate really changing or is it Front Office PR?

[caption id="attachment_14916" align="aligncenter" width="430"]Is Randy Levine behind these latest stories? Is Randy Levine behind these latest stories?[/caption]

I read Wallace Matthews piece about the $189m payroll next yr and Hal's changing stance on it.   Matthews cites some vague anonymous team sources saying that Hal is ready to spend money and draws the conclusion that the $189M budget isn't a necessity anymore.  I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.  Until I see them spend some money or Hal comes out and says they are scrapping the plan, I don't believe it because all of their actions up to this point say they are serious about trimming payroll.

I think it may just be the Yankees trying to leak stuff to the media because they know fans aren't happy and that ticket sales are likely down again.   The last 2 days we've had back to back non-news headlines stating that Hal is willing to spend big money to bring back Cano and now that Hal is likely to ditch the $189 goal because he wants to ensure they field a championship team.  Sounds like they are trying to save face in the media to me.  EVERYTHING they have done for the last 2-3 offseasons has been based on getting below $189m.  They have not signed 1 significant player in FA past 2013 except Ichiro who will turn 41 in 2014.  I think that speaks volumes.

Think about the Ichiro signing.  First off Cashman refused to give anyone a multi-year deal this Winter to protect the 2014 budget.  He liked Tori Hunter for RF but it went nowhere because he wanted 2 yrs.  Russell Martin was never even made an offer.   If you recall, Cashman tried to sign Nate Schierholz to play RF before he decided on the Cubs and kept Ichiro on the back burner for weeks.  It looks like Ichiro was signed more at the direction of ownership/Levine than by Cashman due to the fact that he attracts a large Asian fan-base that adds to ticket sales.  Don't forget it was Levine who originally initiated the Ichiro trade talks with Seattle in July and brought it to Cashman.  Once again that likely had a lot to do with ticket sales just like when Levine over-ruled Cashman and signed Rafael Soriano in 2011 because Cashman hadn't signed any significant FAs.  Fans weren't pleased and Levine felt the team had do something to spark interest and at that stage of the offseason, Soriano was the only legitimate FA left.

Hal was surprised to hear that fans weren't happy with the offseason and according to Matthews' source,  he was "freaked out" by the fans negative reaction to the team's payroll cuts and lack of significant acquisitions. The 2 stories about Cano and $189 on back to back days seems like a PR move orchestrated by Levine and/or Hal to address fan perception just like the Soriano signing in January 2011, the Ichiro trade in 2012 and the Ichiro signing in 2013.  While it sounds like a good thing that the Front Office cares what the fans think, putting band-aids on problems and making reactionary moves to try to bolster ticket sales are not a way to run a team. Bring up and play some exciting young players, sign/trade for players in their primes and don't mandate sizable payroll cuts while revenues around baseball are at an all-time high and the team has the highest ticket prices in MLB.  Those are the things that will energize the fan base and help the direction/performance of the team at the same time.  After all, nothing is better for attendance and fan confidence than winning rings.

What do you think? Do you think the team has softened on $189m or is this a PR move designed to save face?


  1. fishjam, I have to agree with Hal on this one, the Yanks made some significant moves this off season signing Kuroda, Pettite, Ichiro, and Youk. As for whether they are going over the 189 cap only time will tell. I believe the Yanks when they say it all depends on the prospects. I think they felt that some of their prospects like the killer B's and others would have progressed faster than they have to this point. If none of the prospects improve at the proper rate than I think they will go over the cap. The Yanks want to get younger and next year will be the time to do it.

  2. If you want to keep your fans, you have to get some players, Like, Stanton, Fowler, C.Gonzales, Wright, Loshe, or Hedley. Players of that caliber, whom are younger and will be around and make an impact. Alex has been injured for the past 3 years, not his fault. but we missed the good players over the last 5 years because we didn't want to give up our minor league? are you kiddng, who for there has helped form there in the last 5 years? You could have A, Soriano for 10 mil. for 13-&-14, and trade Granderson, get a better hitting coach, love Long, but its not working anymore ( Taxeria). Change bat or stance, the way Granderson tilts his head, somthing. Cashman has always been a puppet, looked good because George spent for good and sometimes great palyers. wonder if the League has alot to do with, whats going on with our Yankees?

  3. Can't be to spoiled. You can't have an all-star at every position. You need to infuse homegrown talent with veterans and some free-agents. The talent in the farm should be making moves this year so that is exciting. We probably have the last years of Pettitte, Kuroda, Mariano, Granderson, Joba and Hughes on the team this year.

    Next years team is going to have a very different look.

  4. Tony, they did win 95 games last year and finish in first in the East, and they have made the playoffs more than any other team. The playoffs are a crap shoot.

  5. Mattew/doug....
    Good comment, I think about half of the fans around here have been saying the same thing for a few years now.
    Next year we will have about 6 or 7 holes to fill, the five pitchers are or, should be the easy ones to fill. We have many pitchers ready and willing to step-up but, we can only handle one maybe two at a time as starters and two or three as BP.
    2014 will have a real different look alright, SS, LF, 2nd, catcher, 3rd and RF (maybe).

  6. Nova and Cervelli go down what's next. I quess it's time to bring up Nuno and Romine.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)