So perhaps it is no surprise that Steinbrenner wants the Yankees’ payroll to dip below next season’s $197 million luxury-tax threshold.
It would be the first time since the tax was instituted in 2003 that the Yankees would be below the threshold and it would come just in time to avoid the onerous penalties for repeat offenders that will kick in next season. Still, Steinbrenner maintained that the decline in ticket and suite revenues had nothing to do with his payroll objective.
“We’re not afraid to spend money,” he said.
Indeed, as much as Steinbrenner is preaching more responsible spending, he would not rule out again blowing past the luxury-tax threshold if the situation calls for it — as he said it did after the 2013 season, when the Yankees committed more than $450 million in a free-agent spending binge.
“Every year is different,” Steinbrenner said. “I wish I could kind of sum up my overall philosophy, but I tend to roll with the times and really take a look at the team every year and what we need.’’
It does help Steinbrenner’s payroll quest that the Yankees have two…