Friday's Morning Mashup: Yankees president Randy Levine says team won't spend big this offseason

December 19, 2014 - 3:14 am

Welcome to Friday's Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire. FRIDAY'S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NHL: Bruins at Jets, 8 p.m. (NESN) NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE) NBA: Trail Blazers at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN) NBA: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: St. Mary's at St. John's, 7 p.m. (FS1) College basketball: Alabama A&M at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1) College basketball: Arizona at UTEP, 11 p.m. (FS1) College football: NAIA final, Southern Oregon vs. Marian, 3 p.m. (ESPNU) College football: NCAA Div. 3 final, Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Mount Union, 7 p.m. (ESPNU) College football: FCS semifinal, Sam Houston State at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2) AROUND THE WEB: -- Up until the time Jon Lester accepted a deal from the Cubs last week, there was speculation that the Yankees would make a run at the former Red Sox right-hander. However, general manager Brian Cashman said that his team has no plans to spend big this offseason. On Thursday, team president Randy Levine backed up his GM, saying the Yankees have enough high-priced hurlers already. "As [Cashman] has said, if you look at the construct of our roster, I think [Masahiro] Tanaka is an ace, CC Sabathia hopefully comes back, we get [Ivan] Nova back pretty soon. ... You have to build around that," Levine said. "So the chances of us bringing in another guy who makes $25 million or over are, to my opinion, virtually none." This is good news for teams interested in bidding for Tigers ace Max Scherzer (and bad news for agent Scott Boras). Scherzer is expected to land a deal in the $200 million neighborhood. "I think that's a lot higher level than we're willing to play in right now," Cashman said earlier in the week. "I don't think Yankee fans will be looking at Max Scherzer." [poll ID=93] Sabathia made $24 million last year while Tanaka made $22 million. Both missed much of the season with injuries. "As I said, we're going to have a payroll in excess of $200 million as we always have," Levine said. "But at the end of the day, you have to be realistic in any organization. "I think our payroll is right at the top. I think the Dodgers will be ahead of us. Nobody else," Levine added. "The Steinbrenner tradition is if there's a way to make the team better, [Cashman] is out there trying to make the team better, in the reality of building an organization. We're always out there looking, but it has to be tempered by the reality of an organization. You look at our pitching staff, for example, we have two guys that make a lot of money." -- Knicks star Carmelo Anthony missed Thursday's game against the Bulls due to soreness in his left knee, and he said earlier in the day that he's been advised to "shut it down" for a few weeks. However, Anthony said he's inclined to play through the pain due to the Knicks' horrible start to the season. After Thursday's 103-97 loss in Chicago, New York is 5-23 -- the worst record through 28 games in franchise history. "I've had multiple people say kind of just shut it down or just take time off," he said. "At the end of the day it's hard for me to just do that right now amidst what's happening with the team. So I'm just trying to be smart about it. The more you play, the less recovery days you get. "I can utilize these three days and get ready for the back-to-back [games Saturday and Sunday] and we get another three days [off] next week. ... But it gets frustrating not knowing what's going to happen." According to the New York Daily News, Anthony is likely to need surgery to cure his knee problem. "I think ultimately that has to be the player's decision in terms of what he feels like is best for him in his career, but also what's best for the team," coach Derek Fisher said. "I think Melo is smart enough to balance those things. He doesn't like to sit out. He doesn't want to be away from the team. But he also has still a bright future in front of him he shouldn't jeopardize and I think he's savvy enough to make the right decision at the right time." -- The NHL issued its first fine for diving, and no, it was not a member of the Canadiens. Predators forward James Neal, who was warned for diving a month earlier, was fined $2,000 for his actions in last Saturday's game against the Sharks. Upon receiving a stick to his thigh from Barclay Goodrow, Neal leaped in the air and fell to the ice. He was penalized for embellishment. The diving fine is a new rule this season. Players can be assessed increasing amounts for subsequent violations, up to a maximum of $5,000, with an additional $2,000 fine for the head coach. ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 19, 2001, the Red Sox traded catcher Scott Hatteberg to the Rockies for a player they did not tender a contract to, making him a free agent. Two years later, they signed the same player to a one-year deal and he played for the Sox' 2004 World Series championship team. Who is he? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We would not have won Banner 17 without Rajon and will always consider him one of our most valuable Celtics. We will always cherish the time he was here." -- Celtics ownership, after Thursday's trade of Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks STAT OF THE DAY: $600,000 -- Bonus Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks earned after sacking Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst during Thursday's game -- leading to him doing the Johnny Manziel money sign toward general manager Dave Caldwell 'NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): It was an interesting night for Blues goalie Martin Brodeur on Thursday night against the Kings. First the good: He makes a glove save on Justin Williams while lying on his stomach. ... ... Then the weird: A puck gets stuck in his equipment and it takes a while to locate it. ... ... Then the bad: He allows a cheap goal on a fluky bounce when Dwight King loops in the puck from center ice. Warriors guard Steph Curry takes a no-look pass from Klay Thompson and hits a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock during Thursday's win over the Thunder. TRIVIA ANSWER: Pokey Reese SOOTHING SOUNDS: Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Maurice White was born on this day in 1941.