Levine Talks Payroll, Girardi, Rivera, Ichiro

Yankees president Randy Levine addressed the team’s age, injuries, leadership and prospective free agents in a comprehensive interview with Barry Bloom of MLB.com. Here are some more highlights from his interview with Bloom:

  • The Yankees aim to avoid the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014, Levine confirmed. “There are tremendous financial incentives to do it,” he said. “In addition to not paying the tax, there are tens of millions of dollars in revenue sharing rebates that will come back to teams like the Yankees if they stay under the threshold.” 
  • The Yankees must get younger to continue competing, Levine said. Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement places additional importance on player development and changes to the CBA could also lead to a “very different free-agent market,” Levine said.
  • Joe Girardi and his staff have done a “good job,” Levine said. He declined to discuss Girardi’s long-term future with the team, saying only that discussions would take place at the appropriate time.
  • Levine expressed confidence in general manager Brian Cashman and the team’s other front office executives. “I think everybody is great.”
  • The Yankees are doing “very, very well” from a business standpoint, Levine said. He made it clear that the Steinbrenner family has no intention of selling the club, but said the Dodgers’ sale price of $2 billion “gives us something to smile about.”
  • The Yankees would “love to have” Mariano Rivera come back in 2013, Levine said. “If he wants to come back, we'll welcome him back.”
  • The Yankees want Rafael Soriano in New York and believe he has done a tremendous job. The closer is expected to opt out of his contract with the Yankees after the season and elect free agency.
  • The Yankees will talk to Andy Pettitte this offseason if the left-hander is interested in returning for another year.
  • Ichiro Suzuki “has done a good job” in New York, Levine said. As of now, however, the team is focused on 2012, not Ichiro’s next contract.
  • Levine acknowledged that he’s concerned about injuries, saying the frequency of disabled list stints is “troubling.”

22 Responses to Levine Talks Payroll, Girardi, Rivera, Ichiro Leave a Reply

  1. johnsilver 3 years ago

    “there are tens of millions of dollars in revenue sharing rebates that will come back to teams”

    Here is an idea.. Every team that has been on the dole can pay back a %, rather than the league being the on doing it..

    I would LOVE to see the TBR, Marlins, Padres etc.. Having to cough up some of the millions they got for nothing and paying it back.

  2. Seth 3 years ago

    If Ichiro hits the market, he will probably take a significant pay cut at age 38. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Braves make a run at em for next season. He’s got at least another year in him and can still produce. I mean it’s obvious the Braves aren’t going to do anything huge in the OF spot.

    • FS54 3 years ago

      I doubt it. They are already considered too left-handed.

      As a huge Ichiro fan, it is tough to see him struggle and on Yankees roster. I wonder if he is contemplating retirement in case they win it all.

    • Scooby 3 years ago

      No doubt about that. I love Ichiro but he’s now a shell of his former self unfortunately. He’s AT BEST a fourth outfielder and any team pining to win signing him for a bigger role will be making a mistake.

  3. NYPOTENCE 3 years ago

    As a Yankee fan I feel confident in the direction in which the team is headed. I hear all of these negative connotations surrounding the team’s age and injury concerns but the truth is that the Yankees have the finances to go out in the free agent market and cash in or they can make deals using their system.

    Also, for all of those worrying about the Yankees future Of situation, don’t. The Yankees have 3-4 legit OF prospects coming up and they have some young starting pitching to depend on for the future. Stop worrying.

    • bryce1344 3 years ago

      Yanks have OF prospects but none are ready yet for 2013 and 2014 may be pushing it. Also, not all prospects make to the bigs. Out of the 3-4 prospects they will be lucky if 2 even make it to the major leagues and out of those 2, one will most likely only be marginal player.
      Still pushing for Beltran to the Yanks since he could be a short term solution for RF who can still be productive if allowed to DH a few times a week.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        Isn’t a free agent, and I doubt the Cards give him up.

        • bryce1344 3 years ago

          Got off to great start but wore down playing full time, Cards can’t afford to pay a less than full time player $13 million. Plus they have Craig to play right and prospect Adams ready at first along with needing playing for Matt Carpenter. Beltran wants a championship which is why he selected the Cards over other teams this year. The Yanks would give him that opportunity.

      • JoeSeadog 3 years ago

        You make a great and valid point. At the low A level when you go to a game and see the 50 players represented on the field, 2 are likely to get a major league AB or make an appearance. At AA the percentage increases, but only to about 5 of the 50, and at AAA 10 – 15 may get an AB or appearance, but keep in mind that teams carry 8 or 9 minor league rosters. On average there are 200 guys vying for 25 jobs already filled. Add and subtract for DL’s, retiree’s, and free agent signings and you see how much you have to shine to get noticed. Then realize that once you get to AA and AAA as many as 20 of the players are role players. Their job is to provide valid competition for your and other teams prospects. If you give a kid a million dollar signing bonus, you don’t want him honing his skills vs other inexperienced schlubs. You want him with veterans who can teach him things. When you see 30 year old guys playing in the minors they don’t have delusions of grandeur, they are probably making 60-100K a year they can’t make elsewhere. PLUS, these guys provide a bank of future coaches and instructors for future prospects. I doubt any team has 4 REAL outfield prospects. Even in the Yankees minor league hayday year of 1996 where the CORE FOUR came out of their Top 10 prospects (Jeets, Andy, Mo and Jorge). their #1 prospect was Ruben Rivera. Getting one SOLID minor league player to unseat a major league roster spot each year is about all you can expect.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      I’m just hoping they don’t make a run for Justin Upton. He is good he isn’t any better than Swisher, and they really need those prospects.

      • Gator4444 3 years ago

        Upton at 23 had a better season than any of Swisher’s. He will bounce back and have another MVP caliber season. Gotta get that thumb healthy.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          He had one season that was a bit better than any of swishers, but he really is not that much better. Over the past 3 years swisher has a higher obp, higher slg, more doubles, more hr. He doesn’t have as much speed, but Upton gets caught 34% of his attempts, so I really wouldn’t use that as a strength.
          Sure I would rather have Upton long term than Swish, but it is crazy to think that Upton is an elite player, whereas Swisher isn’t. Then factor in that Arizona wants 3-4 top prospects plus upton’s aav for next 3 years is already $13M. You really might as well just sign swish if you are the Yankees, it will cost a few million more a year, but if even one of those 4 prospects turn out to be decent you end up saving money.

          That wasn’t a mvp calibre season, a 30 hr right fielder is not all that spectacular.

          • Scooby 3 years ago

            Didn’t read this before my other post. Sure, I’d love to have Swish back but at what cost and how many years? There’s no sense in over-paying Swish for his down years with aging veterans such as A-Rod and Tex still on the team.

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            Certainly, but most people don’t expect his contract to be insanely large. If you can get him 3/50 somewhere around that it makes sense. I really doubt that swisher is going to get a 6 year contract, he is probably looking at roughly 5 years tops. Maybe 4 with an option if he becomes in demand.

          • Scooby 3 years ago

            He’s not realistically going to sign for 3/$50m. Among FA OF this off-season, Swisher is probably going to rank #2 behind Josh Hamilton and there exists a large talent gap between the two. Hamilton may come off the board early as the Rangers (his preference) will try to retain him. Once he’s off the board, I fully expect a small bidding war for Swisher.

            Another thing to consider is the Yankees’ plan to be under the 2014 $189m luxury tax threshold. After the ’13 season, resigning Cano (and perhaps Granderson) will be the priority and it’s going to cost a few hefty pennies. I’m not so sure keeping Swisher around will help the situation.

      • Scooby 3 years ago

        Swish isn’t getting any younger at 32 and will likely command a very large contract. Upton, meanwhile, may have yet to even reach his career peak. He still has the tools along with health to become the player that scouts once believe he could become. You’re paying for future performance, not past. My money is on Upton depending on whether he’s truly available and who Arizona is going to want in a trade.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          And for that marginal improvement in performance you are giving up 4 prospects. If it was earlier in his career Upton it would make sense, but as it is his salary is already significant.

      • Cuso 3 years ago

        Upton is better than Swisher in every aspect of the game except hitting left handed. And he’s 9 years younger.

        I am more than delighted to see Swisher leave. Let someone else pay him $15M/year.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          7 years. It is way overstated how upton is better. Swisher over the past 3 years has put up a higher WAR, WRC, WOBA, ISO, Walks at a higher %. I really don’t see how you can justify that Upton is so much better than Swish.

  4. JoeSeadog 3 years ago

    With Swisher they don’t have to get up every morning and wonder if he feels like playing and will hustle on every ball he hits and has to chase down. Upton is a great talent but I fear he could end up as one of those guys who “could have been”

    • Cuso 3 years ago

      You’re overstating Swisher’s value immensely. Just because fans like his smile doesn’t give him those attributes you wish he had

      • JoeSeadog 3 years ago

        I said nothing of his value, just that he’s dependable. But if you make a list of outfielders over the last 4 years who average 25 Dingers, 85 ribbys, walks 80 times a year, and has a .360+ OBP the list would be shorter than you think and Nick would be on it. For a team and a manager, he is low maintenance, and DEPENDABLE. Where the superior talent, Upton, plays when he wants to.

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