Hal Steinbrenner has recently been making the rounds and doing interviews with different members of the media. Here’s what he had to say:
• The biggest news: Hal says the Yankees have not and will not abandon the $189 payroll goal. “The math works to me if the young kids do their job,” he said. “It has to happen. And I’ve been saying that for over a year now — that’s the goal we’re going to push for. But again, I’ll reiterate what I always reiterate, which is we’re always going to field a championship-caliber team.”
• Hal also confirmed that the Yankees have had several conversations with Robinson Cano and his new agent Brodie Van Wagenen. “A lot of it’s procedural. I keep saying, it’s not a process we’ll be reading about in the paper every day. If anything significant happens, everybody’s going to know, but we’re going to continue in the weeks to come to work though things and try to come to an agreement,” he said.
• Hal did say that giving out a seven, eight, or even a 10 year deal would make him nervous though. “Anybody would get a little nervous if you get into a seven or eight-year deal. It depends on the age of the player, too, I guess. Give an eight-year contract to a 34-year old — you probably wouldn’t do that, right? Twenty-five, 26?” I wish he was around when Alex Rodriguez got his mega-deal.
• “Pleasantly surprised,” Hal said when asked if he was surprised by this team. “I’m not shocked. I didn’t but into the doomsday scenario that many people did. Because I knew that we had some good kids at Triple A. But more importantly, I knew that the guys we got in the offseason were veterans. And whether or not people thought they were worth getting or not, I thought they were veterans, and this is what you expect veterans to do. And they’ve done it. They’ve stepped up.”
• There is no extension coming for pending free agents Brian Cashman or Joe Girardi, but Hal seems very happy with them. “Both have done a great job. There have been a lot of ups and downs to Triple-A and back, shuffling around players. They’ve done a great job, and Cash did a great job with the players we got in the offseason,” he said.
• Hal wasn’t straightforward when discussing the declining attendance using excuses like poor weather and a bad economy as if those things are only happening in the Bronx. He says that eventually people will want to come out and see David Adams, Austin Romine, and Travis Hafner. He pointed out that tickets are affordable (somewhat agree) and for once didn’t blame StubHub (which was refreshing).
• Finally: Don’t expect Hal to be selling the team any time soon. “Absolutely not selling the team,” he said. “Have not been talking to anybody about selling the team. Have no intention of selling the team. What would I do?”