Just a couple notes from Yankeeland as the Bombers play the Rays:Embed from Getty Images
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.
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.