While owner Hal Steinbrenner has aspirations for a lower payroll (189 million aspirations to be exact), he only aspires for that $189 million payroll if the team the Yankees put on the field is that of a contender. As ascertained by New York Post Baseball Insider Ken Davidoff, while Steinbrenner hopes to reduce payroll by the 2014 season, he only wishes to do so as long as the team has the potential to be a champion.
“All I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change,” Steinbrenner said. “We will always field a championship-caliber team. Is our goal 189 next year? Yes. But only if I'm convinced if the team I see, that we've put together, is a championship-caliber team.”
Steinbrenner, currently in Arizona attending the Major League Baseball owners' meeting, pointed to the offseason resigning of closer Mariano Rivera, starters Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda, and the signing of free agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis when reaffirming the team's commitment to building a championship team. However, Steinbrenner also confirmed via Davidoff that there's still work to do and another bat is a priority as the Yankees approach the final leg of the offseason.
With an outfield devoid of right-handed bats, the Yankees are exploring a trade for Washington Nationals slugger Michael Morse. A right-handed first baseman/outfielder, Morse contractually makes the most sense as he only has one year and $6.75 million remaining on his current deal with the Nationals.
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