On March 1, Brian Cashman’s job got a lot more difficult.
That’s when the New York Yankees' general manager was reading the headlines Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner made when he said the Yankees would get their payroll below $189 million by 2014. They would do this despite spending at least $200 million every year since 2007.
Indeed, payroll reduction plans were always in place when George Steinbrenner was running the club, but they never seemed to materialize. For Cashman to continue the Yankees’ winning ways, they might want to delay that decreasing plan for some time.
With a farm system that lacks major league-ready players and a rapidly aging big league roster, the standard of success the Yankees have enjoyed for nearly two decades will be difficult to maintain with a payroll shrinking in the manner Hal Steinbrenner suggests it will. The only way they can continue competing and simultaneously rebuilding the team’s cumulative talent pool -- especially their cleanup hitter -- is to continue to spend.