Hal Steinbrenner Says Yankees Could Be Buyers Before Trade Deadline, But Won’t Sacrifice Top Prospects

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Given his team’s fast start after jettisoning veterans last summer, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner will consider adding players as the trade deadline approaches in July.

Steinbrenner said New York will not trade top prospects. In hindsight, he said he should have agreed to start the team’s retooling earlier than last summer to open roster spots for catcher Gary Sanchez and right fielder Aaron Judge.

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Speaking Wednesday at the baseball owners’ meeting, Steinbrenner said starting pitching has been a “pleasant surprise.” He cited rookie Jordan Montgomery, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia.

Steinbrenner also praised the Yankees’ hitters, especially those players who have been overshadowed by Judge.

Hal Steinbrenner

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

“Clearly, (Starlin) Castro and (Chase) Headley — Castro still — they both had a great April,” he said. “They were really contributing. And (Jacoby) Ellsbury’s been good. It just seems like up and down the lineup … we’re hitting.”

Steinbrenner also singled out Aaron Hicks. “He’s been great,” he said.

As for the offseason, the Yankees’ owner promised to be active in the free-agent market but added “to what degree and in what areas remains to be seen.”

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“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but my plan hasn’t changed,” Steinbrenner said.

At 23-13, the Yankees have the second-best record in the American League.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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