The Yankees are so serious about dropping under that $189 million luxury tax threshold for 2014 that, according to a source briefed on their plans, they would not even do a two-year contract in the $20 million range with Torii Hunter, The Post has learned.

Though Arizona's Justin Upton has become available at the GM Meetings, a person involved in discussions said, "The Yankees are not on him."

Yankees officials are insisting that you either commit to a philosophy or not, and they remain galvanized on gaining the financial benefits that are available via the collective bargaining agreement if they slip below $189 million.

Many outside executives remain skeptical, especially wondering if the Yankees truly will have this discipline should they miss the playoffs in 2013 and/or attendance plummets. For now, though, general manager Brian Cashman could not have been more definitive: "We are not going to be over the $189 million."