Report: Yankees scrapping austerity budget

HANK STEINBRENNER MAKES IT RAINA month ago I discussed the possibility that the Yankees would abandon the austerity budget plan and continue to spend more than $189 million in 2014. Turns out the Yankees are in fact no longer serious about that goal.

Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, no one within the organization ever really felt this was possible. The money they stood to save by getting under $189 is no longer significant enough to justify a $3 billion organization sending out a cheaper team. A few million dollars wasn’t going to stop them.

I am again relieved by this fact. Truthfully I am surprised that the Yankees are as good as they are this season. I am now more reassured than ever, however, that the Yankees are going to be good in 2014 as well. Steinbrenner is going to be willing to spend however much it takes to make this franchise a winner.

Here’s a quote from Passan’s piece I really agree with:

“The logic holds up well: The Yankees are arguably the greatest brand in American sports, and already with an injury-depleted roster this season, they could suffer a down year. To dilute the Yankee name for multiple years would necessitate a humongous monetary benefit – one sources say the Yankees no longer believe is coming to them, even if they were to dip beneath $189 million.”

While I would like the Yankees to hold onto prospects and give them a shot to play, I also believe they can do that without going into the traditional rebuilding model. By that, I mean they can compete year in and year out while allowing their prospects to step in and make a contribution.

Many will say that spending in and of itself will not lead to success. That, of course, is true. Smart spending will definitely lead to success though. Others will say that the Yankees will never win until they fully commit themselves to rebuilding, give a team full of prospects a chance and see what sticks. Then spend to fill the gaps. That is a good formula for success, however there would be a few years of irrelevancy for the Yankees. To me, that would be unnecessary.

At this point, Yankees fans should rest easy on the notion that Steinbrenner will continue to spend and the Yankees will most likely continue to win. The countless one year contracts of washed up veterans will soon be a thing of the past because Steinbrenner and Cashman and company will now be able to sign some guys to longer term contracts.

The sleeping giant will be awakened this winter.

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16 Responses to Report: Yankees scrapping austerity budget

  1. James Brudnicki says:

    Really need to proof read your work……. I belief

  2. Fred says:

    I'm sorry Greg, but I'm gonna have to disagree with the general positive vibe of this article.

    To come this far, and do what the Yankees have done in the name of "austerity", only to drop it ONE YEAR before their stated goal, is completely f—ing ridiculous. Think of the good players that the Yankees let walk, supposedly in the name of "austerity." Even if you're among those who believe Swisher would never hit in the postseason, after what he did for the organization he at least deserved an OFFER to stay in pinstripes. At least try to lowball him for crying out loud. We're sitting here playing Jayson Nix EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. when we let Eric Chavez go over 3 million piddly dollars. We're playing with a glorified AAA catching tandem (I'm so sorry Frankie), when the PITTSBURGH. PIRATES. took our former All star, Gold Glove starting catcher. Behind CC Sabathia, we have exactly two playoff acceptable starting pitchers, and both are 39+ on a one year deal.

    No, I cannot celebrate the death of "austerity." The very word and the New York Yankees are antonyms. Instead, I have to think of what should have been. This season, last season, and going forward.

    • Fred says:

      As an alternative to reading all of that, I recommend the shorthand version. Just the Caps.

      ONE YEAR
      OFFER
      EVERY. SINGLE. GAME.
      PITTSBURGH. PIRATES.

      lol

    • John says:

      They let Swisher go because the market would give him a 4-5 year deal and they didn't want to commit to a 37 year old four years in advance. He was gone no matter what the they were planning for 2014. Chavez? How long was he disabled in 2011 and with Oakland? Martin? A .210 hitter who is hitting 220 this year. What all three have in common is that they were picked up off the scrap heap. Now they're gone, replaced by other guys off the scrap heap. And it's working. Again.

  3. I do disagree with Greg here. Nothing that suggests the Yankees have abandoned the budget, in Passans article or Wally's article in the past, none of that came from the Yankees and certainly not Hal Steinbrenner or Brian Cashman. It's pure speculation. Just like there was lots of speculation that the Yankees would abandon their budget to sign Carl Crawford or Josh Hamilton. I think people just refuse to accept that Hal and George Steinbrenner are not the same person.

    That being said, it is possible that they could still abandon the budget. Hal has been consistent during interviews in leaving himself a little wiggle room. So it's possible. With no evidence that they've actually abandoned the budget, Cano still isn't re-signed, I'll believe it when I see it.

    • gcorcoran says:

      They may not have officially abandoned it, but as I said in the last article, I think it's a foregone conclusion. I can't envision a scenario where the Yankees can stay under budget and field a competitive team. I'm not saying Passan's sources are the most reliable, but I think his sources go far beyond speculation. I'm sure behind the scenes Steinbrenner is saying these things.

  4. The problem is that Passan's sources were not within the Yankees organization. Instead it's a "source familiar with their plans". That's very ambiguous, but if it were a person within the organization he would have said so. Wally's source was even further removed.

    I'm not saying they're wrong. I'm just very skeptical. A lot of fans are very upset at Hal and from all media accounts he's not happy with that. If he was willing to lift the budget, why not come out and say so? Or don't say it, show it by extending Cano. It would probably help them fill some more seats. So basically, I'll believe it when I see it.

    By the way, I find it interesting that none of this has come from Joel Sherman, who initially broke the story that there would be a budget in the first place and always has scoops when it comes to FO stuff like this. Instead, Sherman has written nothing at all about them abandoning the budget. If he said it, then I'd believe it.

    • gcorcoran says:

      To a certain extent I agree with you, however now we have two sources saying the same thing recently, and no sources saying the Yankees are still sticking to the budget. Beyond that, I think more and more people are realizing just how impractical it would be for the Yankees to get under that budget.

      Even more beyond that, people, and I can only assume people within the Yankees organization are a part of this, are realizing that it doesn't make a lot of sense for a 3 billion dollar organization to get under $189 million for what amounts to a couple of million dollars. This is especially true when you consider the fact that by winning they stand to gain much more than a couple of million dollars. I think even a finance geek like Steinbrenner has to realize the value in spending at this point.

      • I certainly agree with this and hope that Steinbrenner sees the light too. He has always left open the possibility of abandoning it. Let's hope he gets it.

      • Matt_DC says:

        Greg, I like your contributions to this blog. Nevertheless, isn't it .50 cents on the dollar for all money spent next year if they exceed the cap? Not just a couple million dollars, more like an estimated $100M?

        • No. It's about .50 cents on the dollar for every dollar spent over the cap. If the cap is $189 million and the Yankees spend $220 million then they are taxed only on $31 million. The point a lot of people are now making is that the Yankees are potentially worth as much as $3 billion. You shouldn't manage a $3 billion asset and risk hurting your business over $30 million. The same goes even if you include the potential savings of say $20-$30 million if on top of avoiding the tax.

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    The 2014 FA crop is mighty thin. so where will they spend this money? Re-signing Swisher at the deal he got would have been iffy. re-signing Granderson would be a mistake. Bust the cap to re-sign Hughes, uh no thanks. Keeping Kuroda and Pettitte, okay. Keeping Hafner and maybe Youkilis, okay. But where else? I'm glad they didn't sign Pujols (too old), Hamilton (too much of a hacker), or Greinke (passive-aggressive twerp). We live in a different era, where many elite players pass up free agency to sign extensions.

    • 2014 FA crop will hopefully include Pettitte and Kuroda, who haven't been cheap.

    • gcorcoran says:

      Also Cano. As much as Hughes is a disappointment he's still valuable to this team. He's better than whatever question mark we could promote to take his place. The bottom line is there will be lots of holes to fill. If the Yankees want to be competitive they are going to have to fill a lot of those with free agents. That's gonna cost, even if it's just one year stopgaps like this year.