Hal talks playoffs, Jeter, payroll, plans


Hal Steinbrenner has vowed to make the 2011 Yankees a World Series-caliber team. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ Managing General Partner and co-chairman, took to the airwaves this afternoon and spent around 20 minutes chatting with Michael Kay and then Mike Francesa on New York’s two sports talk radio stations. While keeping the Yanks’ offseason plans close to the vest, Steinbrenner let slip a few choice words on the playoff scheduling, Chuck Greenberg’s recent comments, the clubs’ payroll and the Yanks’ willingness to dip into the free agency pool.

We’ll start with the sexy stuff. Hal opened both interviews with his assessment of the team’s performance in the playoffs. Both times, he blamed the days off in between the end of the ALDS and the start of the ALCS. “We seemed a little bit cold in that series,” Hal said of the ALCS. “I don’t know if it was the long layoff or not.” I’ll have more on the playoff format and the unnecessary days off later tonight, but the Yanks never seemed to click during the ALCS. Having to stop play for six days probably didn’t help.

As a side note, Hal also called the 2010 season “very disappointing.” I don’t find myself too disappointed by a six-game ALCS series even though the Yanks lost. Counting the playoffs, they won 101 games this year, tops among AL teams and just one fewer than the World Series champion Giants. It was disappointing to see them go down against Texas, but this was a fun season.

The Yanks’ co-owner shifted gears after that to talk about Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. “We absolutely want [Jeter] back. We absolutely want Mo back,” he said. Having said that, we’re running a business.” In fact, that’s a point Hal stressed in both radio appearances. The Yanks are a business and with Derek, the Steinbrenners want “a deal both sides are happy with.”

Hal seemed less nostalgic and sympathetic to the idea that Jeter deserves a huge contract than either Kay or Francesa wanted him to be. While noting that Derek is one of the all-time Yankee greats, he warned Kay, “There’s always the possibility that things could get messy.” To Francesa, he elaborated, “I want to get a deal done that he’s happy with but also that I’m happy with.”

In addition to resigning their own players, the Yankees will be active in the free agent market. Without naming specifics, Hal committed to spending the organization’s money. “We are looking at the free agent market as we do every year,” he said. “We certainly have money to spend and we’re going to look into it.” The team’s payroll, Hal said, will likely be on par with 2010′s though. So we shouldn’t expect too many big-ticket purchases if the team adheres to that budget.

Steinbrenner also stressed the team’s strategy. The use the free agent market to complement their youth movement, but they’re always going to spend money. “The fans need to know we’re not putting money in our pockets left and right,” he said. “We put most or all of it back into” the team. He also mentioned that the Legends Suites were sold at rates above 90 percent this year and that the franchise may adjust some ticket prices for 2011.

Finally, Hal talked about Chuck Greenberg’s comments. The Rangers CEO accused Yankee fans of being both violent and apathetic, and the Bombers were prepared to retaliate. These were “inappropriate, ridiculous comments,” Hal said. While the club accepted Greenberg’s apology, Hal was fairly merciless. “Stupid comments…they were inappropriate, “he said. “You need to apologize to our fans.”

At the end of both interviews, Hal said it was there intentions to build up the 2011 Yankees a “World Series-type team.” Whether it be via trade, free agency or both, the Yanks have a busy Hot Stove League ahead of them.

Categories : News


  1. ZZ says:

    I’ll say it again. Jeter is not getting $20 million, he is getting his salary cut, and Yankee fans will be surprised at the final terms.

    • radnom says:

      I’ve been feeling the same for a while. I feel like everyone else is taking crazy pills thinking they know exactly what is going to happen.

      • Dirt says:

        Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They’re the same face! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! I invented the piano key necktie, I invented it! What have you done, Derek? You’ve done nothing! NOTHIIIING!

    • tomaconda says:

      Ive been saying that all along. 2 years 30 mil is my guess.

      • I will JIMP if that happens.

        There are two devils in this negotiation: Length and Money. I’d much rather succumb to Money than Length.

        • Steve H says:


          Here’s what I’d give him:


          • Let’s go sacrifice a few goats/chickens/people in hopes that the Baseball Gods employ their muses to get it in Jeter’s head to accept a 1/$20M and then ride off into the blazing copper sunset after ’11.

            • ZZ says:

              And then usher in the Nunez Era!

              • ZZ says:

                The NunEra.

                  • RL says:

                    I highly doubt Nunez in ’12 would be an upgrade over Jeter in ’12. I suspect he’ll bounce back to some extent in ’11 and still have enough left over for a decent ’12. Would that be better than what they can get out of Nunez when you factor in cost? I don;t know, but I suspect the Yankees will try to come to an agreement with Jeter that allows them to come up with a solid replacement for Jeter, which may or may not be Nunez.

                    • I’m hoping it doesn’t come to Nunez; I don’t have much faith in him becoming more than a replacement level SS.

                    • OldYanksFan says:

                      I disagree. While 2012 Jeter might outhit Nunez, the difference in D will be great. Jete’s range is already small, and at his age, in 2 years, his range might be scary bad.

                      While Nunez is not near the hitter Cano is, he’s similar in his first year in that he suffered a bit from lack of patience and pitch selection (only 3 BBs with 50 BA), while however showing a decent swing and contact ability (only 2Ks with 50 BA). If he can improve on patience/selection, he looks like he could easily be a .700 OPS guy or better.

                      Over the last 3 years, Derek averaged a (via BR) 3.5 WAR. I will very optimistically say he can aveage a 3 WAR over the next 3 years. That, to my mind, makes him worth, at max, $13.5m/yr. I don’t think he gets even that as a FA on today’s market.

                      So at 3/$45m, he is getting a $5m – $10m “HE’S DEREK FUCKIN’ JETER” premium.

                      You can reward him by giving him season ticket’s for life, or a shot at managing, or a buy-in in ownership, or any other perk you like, but throwing money he’s not worth, to a guy who has already made over $200m, seems silly.

              • That could actually happen if Jeter were to retire after ’11. The FA SS crop that year is just ugly.

          • Would you be willing to go 2/$35?

            • If Hal’s as serious about “running the team as a business” as he says he is, 2/$35 is too high. We’ll see though. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

              • I don’t love it either, but I think it’s an okay middle ground for a balanced length/money deal. It’s more than I’d like to give, but it’s still short enough of #20M that I’m relatively comfortable.

              • CP says:

                Per fangraphs, he’s been worth $42M over the last 2 years, so 2/$35M wouldn’t be ridiculous. It comes down to whether you believe 2010 is just a bad year for Jeter and he will rebound (at least somewhat) over the next few years, or whether you feel 2010 is a sign of what’s to come.

                I tend to fall in the first group, because players generally don’t fall off a cliff from one year to the next like Jeter has simply because of age.

                • OldYanksFan says:

                  Those numbers are skewed a bit by a career year in 2009. In 2010, he was worth $10m, and in the previous 2 years (07 and 08), his average worth was $15.4m.

                  So, in his next 3 years (age 37-39), do you believe he will be as good as he was in 07-08 (age 33-34)?

                  And shouldn’t we even be talking about what his REAL value is…. meaning what he would get an a FA if he didn’t sign with the Yanks?

        • Yank the Frank says:

          That’s what she said.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      What are you basing this on? I think they are much more likely to stay firm on the number of years while giving into him a bit on AAV. Why do you think he gets below 20M?

  2. pat says:

    Yankee fans are the debil.

  3. larryf says:

    But no discussion of the 2 big weddings of the off season? The future Minka Jeter and Jodi Kay must have been very disappointed.

  4. Sam says:

    While I agree that ponytails are very nice hair style, I think Yankee fans will freak the hell out if a Jeter deal isn’t done by mid-December.

  5. tomaconda says:

    Im sure little Stein will be willing to raise his payroll for 1 year to make a big splash with the Idea that next year will be Pettittes last.

  6. The Three Amigos says:

    Too bad Hal did not take full reigns until after that Arod contract. Alex is amazing, but there was no reason to go to ten years. Eight would have been plenty.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      I agree 10 years was nuts, but he might need 9 to break Bonds’ record, and then 1 extra year to bask in the glory.

  7. Tom Zig says:

    Jeter 3/60
    Mo 2/30


  8. Tom Zig says:

    Hal seems to have mastered the art of speaking and not saying much.

    Take lessons, Hank.

  9. Jerome S says:

    The Jeter contract negotiations will be a question of whether he gets 10 mil or 20 mil. Either way, he’s on the team for at least next year (and almost certainly the year after that).

  10. If they give Jeter a four year contract (ugh), would you guys prefer it to be front loaded like A-Rod’s deal is? I’d be totally cool with that.

  11. Corporate Scum (formerly Joe West's Music Career) says:

    Hal = Michael.

    Hank = Fredo.

    My advice to Hank? Don’t go fishing.

  12. Frank says:

    3/36 sounds fair for both sides. And Nunez will never be the long term solution at short. Once it’s time for DJ to move off of short, they will sign or trade for someone…tulowitzki maybe in 2 years.

  13. candyforstalin says:

    2/30m for rivera and 2/40m for jeter and i’d be over the moon.

  14. OldYanksFan says:

    I gotta say yuz guyz is very generous with the Steinbrenner’s money.
    NoMass says:
    If we had $230m to burn, the Yankees would win 194 games a year.

  15. Kiko Jones says:

    My humble prediction: Jeter and Mo each getting 2/$30m.

  16. Tank Foster says:

    I think Jeter will want 4 years. I think that will matter more to him than the salary per.

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