Steinbrenner On Cano, Girardi, Payroll, Free Agents

Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner talked to reporters (including Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal) about a number of topics related to the club.  Here are some of the hot stove-related items….

  • The Yankees haven't had any "real significant dialogue" with Robinson Cano and agent Scott Boras about a contract extension.  Cano is a free agent next winter and said last month that he won't give the Yankees a "hometown discount" on a new deal.
  • There also doesn't appear to have been any talks between the Yankees and manager Joe Girardi about a new contract.  Girardi is heading into the last year of his three-year deal with New York.  The Yankees' reluctance to discuss contracts before they expire is well-known, as Steinbrenner explains that he is "not a big believer in extensions," though "there are exceptions to every rule."
  • The team's quest to get under the $189MM payroll limit by 2014 to avoid a major luxury tax payment isn't just a short-term goal, but rather about "being fiscally responsible" in general.  "I believe that you don’t have to have a $220 million payroll to win a world championship, and you shouldn’t have to," Steinbrenner said.
  • That said, Steinbrenner also left some room that the team's payroll could grow next year if the Yankees' young players don't perform as expected: "All I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change. We will always field a championship-caliber team. Is our goal 189 [million] next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced that the team I see we put together is a championship-caliber team."
  • Steinbrenner is pleased with the team's offseason, noting that Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda were all re-signed and Kevin Youkilis was brought into the fold.  New York isn't done its winter shopping, as Steinbrenner said the Yankees "need another bat."  The Yankees have recently been linked to free agent outfielder Scott Hairston and Nationals first baseman Michael Morse.

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