April 20, 2024

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner: “We are not done trying to improve this team”


TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Yankees have been linked to star free-agent pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery throughout this offseason, but any addition the team makes will be a significant hit to the team’s luxury tax payroll.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who spoke with reporters at the team’s spring training complex Thursday, said despite the team’s current payroll, he’s willing to consider adding any move that is brought to him by general manager Brian Cashman.

“I think we have a championship-caliber team right now, but we haven’t stopped looking to improve and we never will,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re able to do whatever we’re able to do all the way up to the trade deadline. That’s a long time from now.”

Steinbrenner declined to speak about specific free agents (he was asked about Snell directly) and about conversations with certain agents (Scott Boras) but made it clear that the team hasn’t closed for business this offseason. Any move the Yankees make to add to the roster will be taxed at a 110 percent rate because the team is over the fourth luxury tax threshold. Cot’s Contracts projects the Yankees’ payroll at just over $306 million. As an example, if the Yankees signed Snell to a $40 million average annual value deal, that move would cost Steinbrenner $84 million for 2024.

“I’m just going to continue to tell you that we continue to look at a lot of different options,” Steinbrenner said. “Given where we are payroll-wise, any addition to the club is going to be a costly one. I’m still willing to consider anything that Cash and his team bring my way. I’ll leave it at that. We are not done trying to improve this team.”

Steinbrenner said the state of the starting rotation is “very good” but added that the depth “is somewhat concerning” to him. He also mentioned how he was unwilling to part with top pitching prospects Will Warren, Chase Hampton and outfielder Spencer Jones, three players he said rival teams have inquired about this offseason.

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