Hal: We are not "slashing" payroll

Hal Steinbrenner doesn't like anyone referring to slashing the payroll to $189M by 2014 to avoid the luxury tax as slashing.

Listen to the complete interview:

Play Download"I read a couple of the articles," Steinbrenner said with Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN New York 1050 Friday. "I got a kick out of one of them that said we were 'slashing' payroll. $210M to $189M is about 10 percent, I wouldn't call that slashing. The commitment to the fans is always going to be the same. We are always going to field a championship caliber team, every single year, God willing. We will be in the hunt and we will be striving to win another championship. That is not going to change."

We -- and others, too -- have said this before and we'll say it again here. George Steinbrenner's final legend -- the dynastic teams of the '90s -- were really built by the farm system and then adding to it. It happened because the Boss was suspended.

Now, under Hal, the Yankees are going to take a similar approach, using hungry young players from the system, that could push them toward titles, while being augmented by the big dollar pickups.

"You don't have to have a $230M payroll to be in the fight and to win a World Championship," Steinbrenner said.

This is true. The Yankees will likely have the largest payroll of any team in 2014. It actually could lessen one of the things that Yankee fans get so annoyed about. In 2014, while the Yankees will spend a lot, it may not so much that they can be accused of buying a title.

Other notes from Hal with Mike and Don:

* Steinbrenner said he will not have any in-season negotiations.

"We all need to focus on the task at hand," Steinbrenner said.

Nick Swisher and Russell Martin can become free agents after this year. Kay asked specifically about Robinson Cano and Steinbrenner said he is not up for negotiations now.He seemed to leave the door slightly ajar for after this year.

Cano, who is a free agent after the '13 season, is represented by Scott Boras. Boras rarely does a deal before free agency.

Cano, along with Curtis Granderson, could be the biggest expenditures or none expenditures impacted by the '14/$189M.

* Steinbrenner seemed lukewarm about the new playoff structure:

"It is interesting the whole one-game playoff deal," Steinbrenner said. "That obviously brings some risk to the table for the two clubs that are going to be playing in that game. There is no doubt it is interesting and is going to be good for the fans. We'll see."

QUESTION: Do you like what Hal is selling?