It doesn't take much to coax Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner into giving his thoughts on the state of the franchise and baseball as a whole. The outspoken part-owner sounded off on a number of topics to reporters today, writes Bryan Hoch of MLB.com..
- Steinbrenner seems worried about the team's drive to win, saying "I think maybe they celebrated a little bit too much last year," the co-chairman said. "Some of the players are too busy building mansions and other things and not concentrating on winning." Shortstop Derek Jeter built a mansion in Florida during the offseason after negotiating a new three-year, $51MM deal. When asked if the comment was directed at the team captain, Steinbrenner insisted that he wasn't singling anybody out.
- The Yankees' 2010 payments as a result of luxury tax and revenue sharing programs are expected to total about $130 million, Steinbrenner said. He continued to say that the Yankees are allied with other major market teams on the issue and believes that Commissioner Bud Selig wants to "correct it in some way." Hoch noted that in a recent interview on Boston's 98.5 the Sports Hub, the commish said that he is happy with the system as it stands today.
- Steinbrenner says that pitcher A.J. Burnett seems "very hungry" for a bounce-back season. Last year, Burnett turned in a 5.26 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. The 34-year-old right-hander is set to earn $16.5MM annually through 2013.
- Skipper Joe Girardi, closer Mariano Rivera and several hitters were consulted on the idea of signing Rafael Soriano, Steinbrenner said. Last week, Rivera said that he had not been consulted about the signing but was happy to have the reliever aboard.