Yankees' Cashman Doesn't Think Team Spending Ever Changed
Yankees Senior VP & GM Brian Cashman "doesn’t buy into the buzz" that the team signing P Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324M contract is a "sign the free-spending habits of yesterday have returned," according to George King III of the N.Y. POST. Cashman said, "I always thought that was a false narrative. We have been an aggressive franchise for what seems forever under the Steinbrenner family. We have been among the highest payroll teams on a year-in-and-year-out basis." He added, "We are just using every tool in the toolbox, not just the big hammer but it does not mean the big hammer is not available" (N.Y. POST, 12/12). Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner entered the winter "preferring to stay under the highest luxury tax threshold" of $248M, but he early on "decided that wasn’t going to dictate the offseason." The Yankees are "unlikely to be under the highest threshold next season, though they could shed salary via trade." Even as the Yankees "continue their years-in-the-making overhaul of their baseball operations department ... nothing beats an old-fashioned boatload of cash" (NEWSDAY, 12/12).
AIMING HIGH: In N.Y., Ken Davidoff writes with their "top target landed, the onus falls on the Yankees to make the most of their record-setting expenditure." It would "behoove everyone, most of all Cole, to get that championship out of the way sooner than later" (N.Y. POST, 12/12). WFAN’s Sweeny Murti said when the Yankees "go all in in somebody” like Cole, "a lot of times they hit well on these guys.” Murti: “When they shoot for the high end of the free agent market, they usually are right” (“Loud Mouths,” SNY, 12/11).
CUE THE MUSIC: In N.Y., Tyler Kepner writes under the header, "The Yankee Death Star Is Back." This is "who the Yankees used to be -- the bullies of the Bronx, the team you loved or hated but could never ignore." MLB is "better when the Yankees behave this way." Every compelling story "needs a villain, and pinstripes suit the role perfectly." That was always late Owner George Steinbrenner's "most astute strategy, and his son Hal understands it." The Yankees are "loaded now with players of spellbinding possibility" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/12). ESPN’s Karl Ravech noted Cashman “has made the point here that many say, ‘Wow, all of a sudden they’re the Evil Empire again'" ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN2, 12/11). ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian said, “Going back to George Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman once told me here’s how it worked under George. George would say, ‘Get me the player,’ and Brian would say 30 minutes later, ‘I got the player,’ and that was similar to here" ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN2, 12/11).