There is a misnomer about the $189 million threshold. There is an idea that the Yankees will not have money to spend this winter. But they will -- and they could accomplish a lot while remaining under Hal Steinbrenner's "serious goal."
In his Insider piece Thursday, Buster Olney mentions the money the Yankees will have to spend, compared with other AL East teams. Olney writes:
Here are the 2013 payrolls, according to Cot’s:
Baltimore Orioles $92.2 million
Boston Red Sox $154.6 million
Tampa Bay Rays $61.9 million
Toronto Blue Jays $119.3 million
So the Yankees will bring back Mark Teixeira, David Robertson, Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, David Phelps, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda -- and on top of that, they can spend $20 million more than the Rays will dole out for their entire roster. Just this winter.
Meanwhile, the Rays are expected to trade the ace of their staff, David Price, the Orioles are struggling to find pitching and the Blue Jays face a difficult restructuring with a lot less money. The Red Sox demonstrated this season how, even within the highly competitive and deep AL East, there are dramatic shifts if the right choices are made. Boston won 69 games in 2012 and increased that by 28 victories, won the division and is currently regarded as the favorite to win the World Series.
So it may not just be doom and gloom in the Yankees' future.