Steinbrenner: Yanks prepared to add to rotation

Club has payroll flexibility but isn't eager to part with prospects

June 13th, 2018

NEW YORK -- It is no secret that Hal Steinbrenner's club is searching for starting pitching, and the Yankees' managing general partner said he specifically outlined part of the preseason budget for this purpose, allowing general manager Brian Cashman to shop freely in advance of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I think there's definitely a need. It's definitely one of the areas we're going to be looking at," Steinbrenner told reporters on Wednesday at Major League Baseball headquarters in Manhattan. "We've got some flexibility payroll-wise, as you know. The question is, what's going to be available and what are the asks?"
Steinbrenner believes the Yankees can add payroll while remaining under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold. By one estimate, the Yankees should have approximately $16.4 million of room without exceeding that figure.
The Yankees have been linked to various targets in recent weeks, including of the Tigers, Cole Hamels of the Rangers, J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays and of the Padres.
Some longer shots have been mentioned in reports -- among them are Chris Archer of the Rays, of the Giants and of the D-backs -- but ongoing pennant races and the cost in terms of outgoing prospects could prove prohibitive.
"That's why I say it depends what the asks are," Steinbrenner said. "I love the young guys, our fans love the young guys, and I think it's obvious that they've made a heck of an impact. And to see Gleyber [Torres] and [Miguel] Andujar and others right off the heels of [Aaron] Judge and [Gary] Sanchez and [Luis] Severino, it's pretty amazing. Our fans are really enjoying watching them play and so am I."
Steinbrenner said he is pleased with how has stepped up in the wake of 's season-ending left elbow injury, and that he is looking forward to seeing , who will join the rotation to make his Major League debut on Friday against the Rays.
"You know as well as I do that the asks would be pretty high; they're probably going to be high anyway, if anyone's even available that we would be interested in," Steinbrenner said. "So let's see about Loaisiga. I think German has fit in nicely.
"We've got [No. 2 prospect Justus] Sheffield, [No. 4 prospect] Chance Adams, the kid [Erik] Swanson that we got in the Texas trade that we just brought up to Triple-A. He was unbelievable at [Double-A] Trenton, so we've got some options for August and September. But again, we're going to look at anything that comes across our desk."
Keeping the faith
Steinbrenner said his confidence in has not been shaken, despite an opening act to the slugger's pinstriped career that has fallen short of some expectations. Stanton entered play on Wednesday hitting .240/.318/.479 with 15 homers and 34 RBIs in 62 games.
"I'm just not worried about Stanton," Steinbrenner said. "I mean, he's had his ups and downs, but when he gets hot he'll carry a team. We've all seen that, and it will happen. The work ethic is great, he worked his way right into the clubhouse in a great way. Teammates like him. He's going to be great and obviously he's one of those veterans that I always say we need to have, along with the young kids, a mentor type."
Rave review
Steinbrenner said he has been happy with Aaron Boone's performance so far at the helm, adjusting quickly after entering the position with no prior managing or coaching experience at any level.
"Everything we could have asked for," Steinbrenner said. "Calm, cool, collected. Making good decisions and when he doesn't, he's the first one to admit it. The players have a lot of respect for him, he's been great in the clubhouse and been great with his coaching staff. The coaches he's brought in have been good, so it's as advertised. I'm pleased."
Comeback trail
Tommy Kahnle made his fifth appearance for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, and it was his sharpest yet, striking out the side while throwing 12 of 15 pitches for strikes. Boone said reports indicate that Kahnle is regaining the form he showed in the Majors last season.
"We just want him to continue to build up that arm strength," Boone said. "Hopefully we see him tick up in the stuff. Not so much to see the radar gun light up, but just the stuff. The ability to pitch at the top of the zone, the ability to mix in that slider and the changeup, a very important pitch.
"We feel like if we can get him going down there where he's getting regular work, every other [game], hopefully that'll be the ticket for him as far as just getting him into a good rhythm and a good groove and hopefully at some point get him back here."
This date in Yankees history
June 13, 2003: Roger Clemens recorded his 300th win and his 4,000th strikeout (Edgar Renteria) in the Yankees' 5-2 victory over the Cardinals at Yankee Stadium.