New York general manager Brian Cashman says even with planned payroll cuts that the Yankees will still out spend everyone else in baseball.
"That's not going to change," Cashman said on Friday. "We're still the Yankees. We're still going to be there for our fan base and try to make sure every year is a year that they have legitimate hope that is can be a special season."
Cashman's comments came one day Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said that he plans to cut the team payroll to $189 million for the 2014 season. Steinbrenner said this season's payroll is around $210 million.
"Our payroll doesn't need to be at this level," Cashman said. "Look at the Minnesota Twins. Look at the Tampa Bay Rays. Look at a lot of clubs that are having massive success going about it a different way. We can incorporate every way."
Under baseball's new labor contract, the luxury tax threshold will be at $189 million after the 2013 season. By getting under the threshold, the Yankees would be eligible to get some of their revenue-sharing money back.
"Our decisions every year are still difficult, no matter what," Cashman said. "I think it's easier when you have parameters. It was very difficult when it was just a general (budget), and it would change on a daily basis."
The Yankees were hit with a $13.9 million luxury tax last season. New York's final 2011 payroll was $212.7 million for the luxury tax, which uses average annual values of contracts on the 40-man roster and includes benefits. Using salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses, the Yankees were at $216 million.
The luxury tax threshold is $178 million this year and next, then rises to $189 million for 2014-16. Significantly, a market disqualification test for revenue sharing is phased in, gradually making teams in the 14-15 largest markets ineligible to receive money. Those funds go back to the teams that pay, as long as they are under the tax threshold.
New York will pay at a 42.5 percent rate on its amount over the tax threshold this year as a frequent repeat offender and would pay at a 50 percent rate if it goes over in 2013, as is likely. But if the Yankees get below in 2014, their rate would go down to 17.5 percent if they exceed the threshold in 2015.
"It's the landscape that everybody has to operate," Cashman said.