You Don’t Need A Weatherman…

I thought of Bob Dylan’s famous line today as I read reports of Hal Steinbrenner’s press conference. If you had any doubt about “which was the wind blows” for the Yankees, check these out:

Plenty of teams win without the kind of payrolls we have.

I’m a finance geek. I guess I always have been. That’s my background. Budgets matter. Balance sheets matter.

If you do well on the player development side, and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You don’t.

You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.

So, anyone else out there not convinced the Yankees will be under $189 million in 2014? The problem is going to be how they get there.

Assuming Jeter retires (no sure thing) the Yankees already have $75 million committed to Texeira, A-Rod and CC. The good news is Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda will just be entering their first year of arbitration. The bad news is the following players will be free agents after 2013: Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderon, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain. David Robertson and Brett Gardner will be entering their final year of arbitration. And, we aren’t even considering contracts for Mariano, Siwsher or Martin in this conversation.

A rotation of CC, Pineda, Nova, Betances and Banuelos is certainly possible in 2014, but what will the lineup look like? That will be Brian Cashman’s biggest challenge over the next two seasons. He has shown a knack for trading for productive offensive players like Swisher and Granderson. He will need to show that ability again if the Yankees are going to meet Hal’s goal.