Hal Steinbrenner hints at more Yankees upgrades this season

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner remains open to making more additions to the roster to help improve their World Series odds.

Aaron Judge Press Conference
Aaron Judge Press Conference / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

After failing to make the playoffs last season, New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman pushed back at the notion of their method of running the team wasn't working anymore. Whether that's over-reliance on analytics, or preference to add lower tier players in free agency or the trading block. This offseason, the Yankees of old made their return.

First things first, the Yankees pulled off a trade with the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Alex Verdugo. Shortly afterwards, the Yankees acquired superstar Juan Soto and Trent Grisham from the San Diego Padres in exchange for five players. Their last big move was signing starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was on pace for an NL Cy Young award last season before being sidelined by a rib injury. Overall, these were huge moves for the Yankees, and helped them become one of the favorites to win the AL East in 2024.

But, thered are still plenty of top-tier free agents who have yet to sign. Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, and Matt Chapman, clients of agent Scott Boras, are still waiting for the right offer before signing on with a team. Snell had been the subject of reports and rumors about potentially joining the Yankees.

While speaking with reporters on Thursday, Steinbrenner would not specifically comment on Snell, but said they were open to making more moves up until the trade deadline to improve the team. Steinbrenner said that if Cashman approached him with an offer, he would consider it, even with their payroll situation.

“I’m just going to continue to tell you that we continue to look at a lot of different options,” Steinbrenner said, h/t Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “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.”

Hal Steinbrenner open to making further upgrades to Yankees roster

The Yankees are already over the luxury tax threshold, with Steinbrenner revealing they have a payroll over $300 million. While that has been a concern of Steinbrenner's in the past, he appears to have switched tones and is willing to do what it takes for the Yankees to win their 28th World Series title.

Regarding Snell, the internet was abuzz on Wednesday night about the 2023 NL Cy Young winner potentially joining the Yankees. Snell liked one of the Yankees' most recent Instagram posts, and there were unsubstantiated tweets that Snell was going to join the Bronx Bombers. But various reporters debunked them.

FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray noted in a recent article that the Yankees haven't made a new offer to Snell, and that the pitcher is no closer to signing with any team as of now.

"The Yankees hadn’t made a new offer to Snell," writes Murray. "The left-hander was no closer to signing than he has been all offseason. In other words: the waiting game continues, and there is no end in sight."

If the Yankees were to go after any of the top free agents, or any other for that matter, they would have to pay 110 percent in luxury taxes. Essentially, they'd be paying over double what the actual salary is for the upcoming season.

With Opening Day not until March 28, it will remain to be seen if the Yankees make one more move to help improve their odds of hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy at the end of the season. Plus, we'll see if any of the "Boras Four" will sign with a team by then.

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