Hal Steinbrenner gave his State of the Offseason comments on Tuesday night in Orlando. His words backed up the reporting Wally Matthews and I have done here, but there is no better way to find the deep meaning in what he said than to dust off our old friend, the Translator.
Hal on money: "Even with [Alex Rodriguez] as our third baseman, we will have a fair amount of money to spend to try to fill the holes, and that's what we're going to do."
Translation: Yes, there has been a lot of frugal talk, but we are going to put pricey Yankees gifts under the tree by Christmas. Even if A-Rod's suspension is upheld and we have to budget more than $30 million for Rodriguez, we still will be serious players for Robinson Cano, Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and possibly Shin-Soo Choo. Eggnog for everybody!
On $189 million: "We know what the fans expect of us. We're going to field the best team we can every year."
Translation: I'm here to win. Plus, if I appear cheap, everyone will hate me. I don't want to freak out. So we have the budget all set up so we can spend large while cutting payroll. It actually is quite a plan, if I do say so myself.
On Cano: "We're going to be talking to him and talking to some other guys, too."
Translation: If you combine this quote with Brian Cashman saying of Cano, "I think he loves the money, but I think we're going to have a substantial offer, but somebody might come in and have a much more substantial offer," our message is clear: Robbie, we want you, but not at all costs.
Randy Levine said a similar thing during the season. We are united. If Robbie finds more dough elsewhere, we will move on. We could do a lot with that spare $200 million over the next couple of seasons.
On Tanaka: "He’ll be a great, great catch for anybody."
Translation: We badly want Tanaka. I've read Spend Hal's Money and, as usual, Marchand makes a lot of sense. (Author's note: Well, that's how I took it.)
Plus, more than 17,000 have voted in ESPN New York's poll, and 89 percent of the fans want him. He would give us great buzz, allow me to justify the $189 million goal, and he might he be able to pitch, too.
On not making major changes to player development: "We're teaching our scouts to look for different things, things that maybe they hadn't looked for before, things Cashman thinks are important."
Translation: I'm buying all our scouts binoculars.