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Volume 24 No. 156
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Shop And Save: Yankees Poised To Be Under Luxury Tax Next Season For First Time

Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said the club is poised to get under MLB's luxury tax next year for the first time since the tax began in ’03. The club currently has about $160M in ’18 player payroll obligations, well below the $197M luxury tax threshold for next year. Several big contracts, including P CC Sabathia and former 3B Alex Rodriguez, are now complete. If the Yankees remain below that luxury tax mark, it will reset its penalty from a 50% tax as a repeat offender to 20%. That lower tax penalty would go into effect during the '18 offseason, when a robust free agent class is expected to be headed by Nationals RF Bryce Harper and Orioles 3B Manny Machado. “I believe it’s very attainable," Steinbrenner said yesterday at the MLB owners' meeting of getting under the threshold. "It’s going to give us more flexibility in the immediate years to come if we decide to go over it again. I've been saying you can have a world championship-caliber team and not have a $200M-plus payroll. And I think we’re finally getting to a point where that’s coming true for us. ... I really think we’ve turned a corner here.” Meanwhile, Steinbrenner said that even a World Series title this year likely would not have saved the job of recently dismissed manager Joe Girardi and that he agreed with GM & Senior VP Brian Cashman’s recommendation not to renew the veteran skipper. “It maybe would have have been a more difficult decision to make [if the Yankees won the title], but I still believe I would have made it because I felt that’s what’s best for the organization going forward,” he said.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Steinbrenner also briefly addressed the Yankees’ recent move to shift seven April weekday home games in ’18 to 6:35pm ET starts, and said it might lead to more such moves. “I want to see how it goes and then that might absolutely might be the case,” he said.