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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.”








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