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Hal Steinbrenner: 'We're not done yet'

01/11/2013 11:21 AM ET
By Jon Lane

Even under payroll constraints, Hal Steinbrenner remains committed to helping bring title No. 28 to the Bronx.(AP)
New York Yankees co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner spoke to the media on Thursday following the Major League Baseball owners’ meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz. The Wall Street Journal has a transcript, but among the highlights was Steinbrenner addressing the state of the Yankees’ offseason and what lies ahead.

“We’ve signed three or four of the biggest free agents on the market,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re pretty happy with that. It’s great to have Andy (Pettite) back and (Hiroki) Kuroda and Ichiro (Suzuki). (Kevin) Youkilis I’m excited about. I’ve always liked him as a player. We’ve got some work to do, still. We need another bat. We’re not done yet.”

A year ago at this time, the Yankees were also quiet – until Friday the 13th when Brian Cashman pulled the trigger on a major trade that imported Michael Pineda to the Bronx and minutes later agreeing to terms with Kuroda. Version 2012 still needs a right-handed hitting outfielder and the Washington Nationals’ Michael Morse, now expendable in the nation’s capital, remains on the team’s radar. The Nationals want a left-handed reliever, but it will take more than Boone Logan to import Morse to New York City.

Steinbrenner also commented on whether or not the goal to get under $189 million by next year will remain firm.

“I’ve been resolute that that is our goal. And that is our goal,” Steinbrenner said. “But I’ve also said, including at Spring Training a year ago, that in order to achieve that goal, these young players have to step up and get the job done. How many World Series winning teams the last 10 years had a payroll over 189? One. You don’t have to have a $200 million payroll to do that. And I’m a big believer in that. But you’ve got to have a good mix of veterans and young talent. …

“If the young players, the [David] Phelps of the world, who did step up continue to do that and some of the other guys like [Manny] Banuelos, [Michael] Pineda we’ve yet to see. If they get the job done, the math works.”

Phelps is slated to compete with Ivan Nova for the fifth starter’s spot. Pineda is rehabbing from a torn labrum that kept him out for all of 2012. Banuelos will miss all of ’13 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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