Critics wrong to say Hal Steinbrenner isn’t ‘all in’


General manager Brian Cashman pushed back at the idea that Yankees ownership isn’t “all in” on trying to win because the team once again stayed below the luxury tax.

“I hate to say it, but how dare anybody … when somebody commits the amount of money to import Gerrit Cole, to import [Giancarlo] Stanton,’’ Cashman said on a Zoom call Tuesday.

The GM pointed to various “pressure points” that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has to consider, including the luxury tax and revenue sharing.

This season, only the Dodgers went above the $210 million competitive balance tax, blowing by it with a payroll of $267 million, according to Spotrac.

“They might be a unicorn,’’ Cashman said of the Dodgers.

Sources said Cashman had the green light to go over the tax limit at the trade deadline, when the Yankees were trying to acquire Joey Gallo from Texas. The Rangers, however, kicked in salary and the Yankees remained under.

“[Steinbrenner’s] not in this to be a wild-card knockout to our rivals,’’ Cashman said of the loss to the Red Sox.

Brian Cashman (right) and Hal Steinbrenner
Brian Cashman (right) and Hal Steinbrenner
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Cashman added he hasn’t gotten a budget for the offseason, which isn’t surprising since MLB’s collective bargaining agreement is due to expire in December and the luxury-tax number is as yet unknown.

The Yankees are hoping they know the reason DJ LeMahieu had such an off year at the plate.

Cashman said LeMahieu had surgery on Oct. 12 to fix the sports hernia that sidelined him down the stretch — and perhaps played a role in his lengthy slump. The procedure has an eight-week recovery period, so LeMahieu should be healthy before spring training.

Jameson Taillon is scheduled to have surgery this month to repair the torn tendon in his right ankle that derailed the latter part of his first season with the Yankees. Cashman said the right-hander, acquired in a trade last offseason from the Pirates, is expected to be back in five months. Any setback would put Taillon’s readiness for Opening Day in jeopardy.

Aaron Hicks, out since May following season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, should be healthy by next month and may play winter ball. Luke Voit, who dealt with multiple left knee injuries, does not need another surgery. Darren O’Day (left hamstring surgery), is expected to be ready for Opening Day. He has a player option with the Yankees.

Clint Frazier’s health remains in question. Cashman said Tuesday the outfielder is in contact with the team’s medical staff on a weekly basis and the Yankees are working with Frazier’s own doctors to address the “dizziness and fogginess he’s experienced for far too long.”

Frazier has been at home in Atlanta since leaving the Yankees’ facility in Tampa.

Gallo didn’t play well after his arrival in a trade from Texas, but Cashman repeatedly praised Gallo’s “athleticism.” Gallo is under contract for next season.

The other main trade-deadline acquisition, Anthony Rizzo, will be a free agent and the Yankees could still use a first baseman. Cashman also noted that the Yankees needed more contact hitters and noted Rizzo could help in that category.

Cashman has been impressed by Stanton’s performance in important games.

“He’s just been a beast [in the postseason],’’ Cashman said.

The Yankees have already let go of hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and third-base coach Phil Nevin, and more staff changes could be coming now that Aaron Boone is back and will be further involved in conversations.


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