Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Monday that the Yankees can't deal for players who make significant money, since their goal is to get below the $189 million luxury tax threshold by 2014.
"If there is a hypothetical mythical beast that makes like $25 million a year for the next X amount of years that was hitting the market, we certainly could not participate in that level of talent, financial talent," Cashman said.
Cashman could not talk specifically about Cliff Lee, because he is on another team, but his comments confirmed ESPNNewYork.com story from earlier Monday that the Yankees will not be in the mix for the left-hander.
Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are both due new contracts prior to 2014. Nick Swisher and Russell Martin are both free agents after this season. A further complication for the Yanks' 2014 plan is Derek Jeter's continued fine play. If Jeter were to have another good season next year, he may choose to decline his $8 million player option and seek more money for 2014. So with every move the Yankees make from now through free agency, that $189M number will be in the forefront of Cashman's mind.
"If it doesn't fit, it is a non-starter," Cashman said.
As for other deals, Cashman said, it is "possible" he could make some kind of trade before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline, but he "highly" doubts it. At third base, he thinks that Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix can fill in for Alex Rodriguez until A-Rod returns next month.
“I’m comfortable with my current alternatives,” Cashman said. “Chavez and Nix have both done a really nice job for us.”