Hal Steinbrenner said he is not worried about a planned $189 million payroll in 2014 hurting the team's championship chances, the New York Post reported Friday.
The team had nearly a $200 million payroll at the start of the 2012 season.
"All I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change. We will always field a championship-caliber team," Steinbrenner said Thursday during the meetings at the Sactuary resort in Paradise Valley. "Is our goal [a $189 million payroll] next year? Yes. But [we'll go that low] only if I'm convinced if the team I see, that we've put together, is a championship-caliber team."
"I believe that you don't have to have a $220 million payroll to win a world championship," he said. "And you shouldn't have to."
The $189 million goal, which came from a collective bargaining agreement last season, comes after the raising of the luxury-tax threshold to $189 million for 2014. The payroll goal would mean the Yankees pay no extra fees in 2014 and would lower the team's tax.
Steinbrenner said he was surprised to hear some fans reacting to the news with anger.
"I'm surprised to hear that there's anger, if you see what we've done this off-season," he said. "We've signed three or four of the top free agents that were on the market because we're going to continue to field a championship-caliber team."
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