Via Ken Davidoff -
With the Yankees’ pitching staff in tatters, a midseason import seems increasingly likely. Hal Steinbrenner strongly intimated Thursday he’d be willing to pay the import fees.
“[We’re] always willing to look at options come July. Come the trade deadline,” Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing general partner, said as he departed the quarterly owners’ meetings at Major League Baseball’s Manhattan headquarters. “And I think we’ve shown that. Some years we’ve done stuff, like last year with [Alfonso] Soriano. Some years we haven’t. But we’re not going to ever lay down and die. We’re going to do what we need to do to stay in.”
The Yankees have seen three of the five members of their original 2014 starting rotation — Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery), Michael Pineda (right shoulder blade) and CC Sabathia (right knee) go on the disabled list.
“That’s been a big concern,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got to get Pineda back. We’ve got to get CC back. We’ve had some bright spots in the bullpen. We’ve got some concerns in the bullpen.”
The Yankees’ older players have proven especially vulnerable this season; on Thursday, the team placed 37-year-old Carlos Beltran on the disabled list with a right elbow injury that ultimately could sideline him for three months.
“Age is always a concern,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got some bright spots that we’ve seen. [Adam] Warren, [Dellin] Betances, [John Ryan] Murphy. Going out and getting younger players like [Jacoby] Ellsbury, [Brian] McCann. …I’ve always believed in that balance between young guys and veterans. Because the veterans lead, teach. “
His endorsement of the team’s minor-league development speaks volumes, as Steinbrenner has repeatedly expressed his unhappiness with the way the farm system didn’t deliver in 2013.
“Clearly, in the offseason, we recognized we had some positions to improve. Catching was one of them. So we went out and got the guy we wanted,” Steinbrenner said. “He [McCann] is going to be great for us. He is great for us.
“… Our minor leagues didn’t provide the players that we needed, so when that’s the case, obviously you’ve got to go out on the free agent market and make your improvements there. And we did.”
“Tough times. We’ve been through them before,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got a veteran club. They’re going to keep grinding away.”
…Tough times. We’ve been through them before…
And, they will continue, as long as Brian Cashman is G.M. of this team, Steinbrenner Family Checkbook to bail him out, or not.