News and Notes: Luxury tax, All-Star voting

Just a couple notes from Yankeeland as the Bombers play the Rays:

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Hal Steinbrenner: Yankees willing to exceed luxury tax

Hal Steinbrenner spoke at the MLB owners’ meetings in New York this morning and addressed some Yankees concerns.

The Bombers’ principal owner said that he realizes the Yankees’ pitching is a “concern” and spoke to his willingness to improve the team. He even said that they’d willing to go above the top luxury tax tier.

“If I really felt we needed that deal that takes us over the top, then yes, I would,” Steinbrenner said. “But we still have a decent amount of cushion. I’m not concerned about that. It’s a decent cushion.”

He added more about pitching, but I read this in two ways: 1. Of course, he says the Yankees would pass the $246 million threshold, but there aren’t too many players who would actually prompt the Yankees to do that. It would take a combination of pitchers and even then, the Yankees are $15-20 million below the threshold. I’ll believe the Yankees exceed that when I see it.

And 2. Max Scherzer on the Yankees’ radar? The Nationals haven’t yet expressed a willingness to shop him, but he’s the only player who would cost enough to put the Yankees over threshold *and* put the team over the top on the field. I doubt there’s anything there, but it’s fun to dream.

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Sanchez, Voit still lead All-Star voting at catcher, first base

There was an update on All-Star balloting Monday and the Yankees are still in tip-top shape heading into the end of primary voting at 3:59 p.m. on Friday.

Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit lead their respective positions, while Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela and Aaron Judge are all currently in position to make the one-day, run-off election.

Sanchez has 1.35 million votes and has almost 800,000 more than the second-place finisher, Chicago’s James McCann. Meanwhile, Voit is in a closer vote, but has a 110,000 vote cushion on second place.

LeMahieu is in third at second base behind Tommy La Stella and Jose Altuve, but he’s 400,000 votes ahead of fourth place. Urshela is only behind Alex Bregman and may actually help edge Rafael Devers out of the final voting, which would be hilarious.

Torres is most at risk with just a 55,000 vote edge over Tim Anderson in fourth place. Judge is in seventh among outfielders (top 9 make final vote) and should make it despite playing just 20 games so far this year.

The players who reach the run-off election will be announced during MLB Network’s coverage of Yankees-Astros on Friday night and the actual run-off will come on June 26-27.


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  1. Robinson Tilapia

    I would give all three of my testicles to see starting All-Star third baseman Gio Urshela.

  2. chip56

    “If I really felt we needed that deal that takes us over the top, then yes, I would,” Steinbrenner said.

    I’ve heard this before…

    • Publius Rex

      Hal Steinbrenner says a lot of things, most of which are empty words. The team is fun to watch and are playing great in spite of the insane injury bug which helps me forget how irritating Hal is as an owner…

      • Well put, all of it.

        In 2003, Yanks had a $170 ish million dollar payroll and net revenues were $238 mil. They had Revenue Sharing back then too.

        Last year, Yanks had net revenues (revenue after revenue sharing and stadium financing) of $668 mil. Payroll sits at about $233 for the CBT, and that includes Ells of which Hal gets about $17 mil back from insurance.

      • RetroRob

        Look around at the Mets and the other NY teams if you think Hal is an irritating owner.

        • chip56

          At least the other owners are honest about their intentions

          • E.Buzz

            Dolan and the Wilsons are honest about their intentions?

        • Mets net revenue last year was a touch less than half of the Yanks at $340 mil.

          Mets payroll this year is $190 million.

          No one is saying the Mets are even remotely a good organization, but if you don’t see the disconnect and why people are frustrated…

          It’s not all about what you spend, but this team, as good as it is, has obvious needs and money is the solution.

          Hal also passed on a bunch of guys who likely would have made a difference in getting and winning a Championship or two. At the very least, the teams the last few years would have been even more exciting.

          I’d say frustrating is appropriate.

          • EBuzz

            Would still prefer Hal to the Wilpons was my point.

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