The 2012 Hal Steinbrenner Yankees enter trade deadline day with his GM talking about "mythical beasts" that make "$25 million" that his team can't afford. Hal's Yankees go into these final hours of the deadline with a pragmatic point of view, not a win-or-else lust.
The son is not like the father. It is hard to tell how involved he is, except when it comes to the financial books. He wants his payroll at less than $189 million by 2014 so the Yankees can take advantage of all the financial incentives in the new CBA.
While some fans will cry for the days of George and say Hal's intentions may not be pure, the new approach may prove to be smarter. Yes, it will result in no Cliff Lee trade. It will almost certainly mean they won't go after Josh Hamilton this offseason. It means that they will only make trades and free agent signings that fit into the '14 plan.
Still, the reason this plan may not just be better for Hal's wallet, but better overall, is because the Yankees, in theory, will get younger, which could mean better. Now, this goes on the assumption they will be able to develop top-of-the-line major leaguers through the minors.
This is difficult to do, but it can prove much more effective. George's legend was enhanced because of his suspension in the early '90s. Without that, the Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams etc. core may have been traded off because of The Boss' impulses. Hal may not be as involved, but leaving most of the decisions to the baseball people is a better long-term plan.
And, about those long contracts, they almost never work out long-term (see Alex Rodriguez and almost every starting pitcher). So picking and choosing when you hand them out is probably the smarter move. It is not as splashy. It doesn't make for great copy. But mixing in young, talented players around the multi-millionaires is the best route to long-term success.
UP NOW: Mark Teixeira is going for an MRI today to check the severity of his left wrist injury. Johnette Howard on Brian Cashman and the deadline. The Yankees can't spend.
ON DECK: We will be tracking the trade deadline and Teixeira's injury all day. The deadline is at 4 p.m. today. If anything happens. In the meantime, Mark Simon and Katie Sharp will provide a What2Whach4 at 11 a.m.
IN THE HOLE: It is a 3M day at the ballpark. Wally Matthews, Mike Mazzeo and I will be there. A post-deadline Bombers Beat will be filmed.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you prefer George's or Hal's approach at the deadline?