Hal Steinbrenner New York Yankees
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

With the 2019 campaign in focus, New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner sat down with YES Network to talk about the luxury tax and Manny Machado situations.

When it comes to the offseason, what the New York Yankees are up to is always the hot topic. On Monday night, YES Network sat down with owner Hal Steinbrenner and addressed some situations the team will have to face.

The luxury tax

The discussion started with the luxury tax issue, as the Yankees are known for breaking the payroll threshold. For a long time their budget increased every year, as they did whatever it took to put a championship team on the field.

Starting in 2003, the Yankees paid the luxury tax for 15 consecutive years, paying a total of $341 million. In 2018, the Yankees’ front office was adamant about staying under the tax threshold, and they did exactly that.

The MLB set the 2018 threshold at $197 million, and the Yankees remained right around $192.5 million, even with all their trade-deadline moves. That means financial benefits for the Bombers next season.

The Yankees have been paying the maximum 50 percent for years, but even if they exceed the $206 million limit in 2019, they’ll only pay 20 percent for every dollar that’s over.

Steinbrenner said the team approaches each year the same way—by doing whatever it takes to win.

Some snippets from the interview and Tyler Norton‘s Pinstripe Alley piece included Steinbrenner’s insight on putting together a championship-caliber team.

“Well, every year is the same, and what I mean by that is this: We’re going to field a championship-caliber team. And even though we started the season in ‘18 under, we definitely felt we had a championship-caliber team, and a lot of other people did too.

“We’re going to keep adding pieces that we need to add. We’re going to get to the threshold, and if I’m not convinced we’re at where we need to be, we will keep adding pieces.”

Staying under luxury tax will be another target for the Yankees’ front office in 2019. However, with possible additions of Manny Machado and others, the team might miss that target.

Manny Machado

Steinbrenner also shed a little light on the Machado scenario. The Yankees have been noncommittal on Machado, especially after the third baseman’s comments to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on not being “Johnny Hustle.”

Machado is one of the league’s top players, but considering his questionable work ethic, the Yankees might and should stay away.

Steinbrenner touched on the topic by stating that Machado wasn’t the only player with work-ethic issues the team has considered. Stenbrenner also told YES that Machado deserves a chance to explain himself:

“I did say that, in the context of any guy we look at. Whether it’s a $10 million guy or a $300 million guy, those comments would be troubling, and they need to be addressed. I think it’s really going to be up to [Brian] Cashman sitting down with him, and me hopefully, face-to-face and really trying to get an explanation as to what was the context of when he answered that question.”

The Gold Glove award winner’s potential future in the Bronx comes down to a meeting with Brian Cashman.

As everyone knows, money isn’t an issue for the Yankees. What really matters is how a player wears and represents the pinstripes.