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Volume 25 No. 66
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Steinbrenner Dishes On Yankees Payroll Plans, Buzz Around Team

Despite signing Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are aiming to stay under the $197M luxury-tax threshold
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Yankees' offseason trade for OF Giancarlo Stanton is not the only thing that has "contributed to the additional attention the team has received" headed into the '18 season, according to Mike Mazzeo of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner yesterday said, "Clearly last year brought a level of excitement to everybody, and the one thing I keep telling everybody is I can’t ever remember a time like this even 20 years ago when so many of our fans knew about players that haven’t even stepped foot in the Bronx yet." He added, “That’s exciting, and to me, that’s different. We’ve made an effort the last few years to acquaint all these kids with our fans, and I think they’re all really excited about not just what they’re going to see on the big team but they’re following these kids intently as they progress through our system, and that’s pretty cool.” Steinbrenner also "reiterated his desire" to stay under MLB's $197M luxury-tax threshold. Steinbrenner said, “That’s absolutely my goal to stay under the threshold. And we’ve got a good deal of breathing room right now, and we’re not afraid to spend it come July or even sooner if we feel that we’re not good enough in a certain area. But it is absolutely my goal to stay under that threshold” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/8).

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY: Yankees fans continue to watch Spring Training games in record numbers. MLB Network drew 322,000 viewers for Yankees-Red Sox this past Saturday, marking a record Spring Training audience for the league-owned cable net. The audience eclipsed the record set one week earlier by Yankees-Phillies (311,000). Meanwhile, Rays-Yankees this past Sunday marked YES Network’s most-viewed Spring Training telecast in five years (1.61 local rating in N.Y., 145,000 viewers). The game was YES Net’s 11th-best Spring Training telecast on record. Braves-Yankees last Friday drew a 1.38 local rating, and that was YES Net’s best weekday Spring Training game audience on record (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

DON'T ASK ME: On Long Island, Erik Boland notes Steinbrenner "declined to wade into the dispute" between MLB and the MLBPA that centers around the union’s contention that "not enough teams are committed to winning and therefore not spending on free agents that could help them." Steinbrenner said, “I’m not a forensic accountant, so I haven’t gone team to team and kept track of every dollar they spend.” But Steinbrenner did "leave some room for tea-leaf reading." Steinbrenner: “If a team takes the money they get (via revenue sharing) and put it into their player development system to produce better players, is that OK? There could be arguments either way depending on who you talk to. I’m probably the wrong guy to talk to. But there’s no doubt the sole purpose (of revenue sharing) was competitive balance so that fans, this time of year, of any team wouldn’t feel like their team has no chance whatsoever to make the playoffs” (NEWSDAY, 3/8).