On Monday night, the YES Network aired a highly anticipated sit-down interview with Hal Steinbrenner. The Yankees owner addressed a variety of issues including the team’s 2018 campaign, as well as the organization’s offseason plans. Hot topics like the luxury tax threshold, free agent Manny Machado, and the decisions to bring back CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner stand out among the items discussed.
It’s worth noting that this interview was filmed before Machado issued a reply to the criticism stemming from his “Johnny Hustle” comments. Nonetheless, the material remains pertinent and gives Yankees fans some insight into the way the front office thinks. These are some of the highlights:
On if the Yankees will stay below the luxury tax threshold
“Well, every year is the same, and what I mean by that is this: We’re going to field a championship-caliber team. And even though we started the season in ‘18 under, we definitely felt we had a championship-caliber team, and a lot of other people did too.
“We’re going to keep adding pieces that we need to add. We’re going to get to the threshold, and if I’m not convinced we’re at where we need to be, we will keep adding pieces.
“I use four or five years ago as an example. We were right at the threshold; we weren’t good enough; we went out and got [Masahiro] Tanaka. That’s the way I approach this every year.”
We're just minutes away from the return of Yankees Hot Stove, featuring an in-depth interview with Hal Steinbrenner. pic.twitter.com/J31euZSz9I— YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 26, 2018
On Manny Machado’s hustling comments being “troubling”
“I did say that, in the context of any guy we look at. Whether it’s a $10 million guy or a $300 million guy, those comments would be troubling, and they need to be addressed. I think it’s really going to be up to [Brian] Cashman sitting down with him, and me hopefully, face-to-face and really trying to get an explanation as to what was the context of when he answered that question.”
Manny Machado isn't the only player with work-ethic issues that the Yankees have looked at, says Hal Steinbrenner. pic.twitter.com/ks0Bm45SJn— YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 26, 2018
On bringing back CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner
“CC has been with us over a decade now, and obviously Gardy’s home grown. They’re both great leaders in the clubhouse. The players look up to them, even the veteran players that come from other clubs...We expect good things from them on the field, too, and I’m sure we’re going to get it.”