02/19/09 8:24 AM EST
Hank rebukes talk of salary cap
Yankees co-chairman responds to Boston's suggestion of payroll limit
By Bobbie Dittmeier / MLB.com
Not long after Red Sox owner John Henry and club president Larry Lucchino said on Wednesday that Major League Baseball should have a limit on player payrolls, the Yankees co-chairman responded.
"Along with a few other teams, we're basically baseball's stimulus package," Steinbrenner told The Associated Press.
The Yankees' $222.5 million payroll last year was the highest in baseball. The Red Sox were second at $147.1 million. Henry and Lucchino made their remarks during a session with reporters at Boston's Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Fla.
"I think we've seen [an offseason] when the Yankees have spent like the U.S. Congress," Lucchino said, referring to New York's offseason signings of pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira to long-term contracts that total $423.5 million.
"I think we all agree that competitive balance is an issue and if there was a way to put together an enlightened form of a salary cap, I think everybody among the ownership parties would support it," Henry said. "I think it's quite possible to put together a partnership between the players and owners going forward. I think it's something that should be at least explored."
The Yankees, according to AP, paid about $110 million in revenue sharing and luxury tax last season -- the latter a penalty for having a payroll beyond an agreed-upon dollar figure between owners and the players union.
"As long as we're doing that and giving all this money to other teams in revenue sharing, a staggering amount, we should be able to spend on salaries what we want to," Steinbrenner said. "Because of revenue sharing and because of the popularity nationwide, the Yankees are critical to baseball."
Bobbie Dittmeier is an editor/producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.