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December 11, 2017

Hal Steinbrenner

Orlando, Florida

Q. What's your initial reaction when it was brought to you?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Obviously excitement. I mean, he's a very special player. So when Cash came to me and told me that there was at least a possibility we were all over it.

Q. How much does a player like that with a star marquee name bring to the table?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Look, I've always said New York's a marquee town, and I think it's important to have some marquee players, but more important than that I think it's important to have veteran players that could be mentors for the young kids, and we got a lot of young kids, and they all have things to learn even at this level. So it's exciting to have a fairly young veteran but a true veteran on the team, an additional one.

Q. Were you looking at this at all as getting this player now at this cost versus what it might cost for some of the free agents that are going to be available next year?
HAL STEINBRENNER: No, because as you know you know me, I live in the now. I'm dealing with what I have to deal with on any given day and that's my priority.

Q. You guys worked hard with the payroll and the management to get under the luxury tax threshold, and now you're into this guy for 10 years and 265 million. How much did you have to take a deep breath and contemplate that, diving back into that pool?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Well, look, we accomplished this deal -- Cash did a great job. We accomplished this deal in such a way that my goal is still to be under the threshold. That's the plan. Even with him added. We're comfortably under the threshold with some more money to spend, whenever we deem we want to spend it.

So years going forward, guys are going to be coming off the payroll, some guys are going to be coming on. Some guys are going to be hitting arbitration. So year by year. My first focus is 2018, and this deal allowed us to accomplish the goal of still being under the threshold.

Q. Is there anything about a 10-year commitment that made you uncomfortable, given some other contracts you had recently?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Well, look, I think that a 10-year commitment to any player, any position, should be a concern for the owner, without a doubt, but having say that, he's 28 and in great shape, and I think there's going to be many, many years.

I wouldn't be doing my job if it wasn't concerning, it doesn't matter who the individual is. It was a concern but again he's 28, fairly young man, and I just think this is going to be a good deal.

Q. When were you informed that this was something that could happen? Seemed like it kind of came out of nowhere a little bit.
HAL STEINBRENNER: It was probably a good three or four days where we started to engage more and more, and there were times when it looked like it might not happen because we didn't agree on certain things, like any deal, right? But my involvement hot and heavy was probably three or four days.

Q. Is it safe to assume that you would not have done this deal if you couldn't get under the threshold? There's no way you would do a deal like this if you couldn't?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Look, I always said that is absolutely my goal, but again, my main goal is to field a championship-caliber team, which I do believe we have. And I always point back to Tanaka, where we were at the threshold, had an ability to be just under it, and the team wasn't good enough. So we did what we did.

So a hypothetical question. It's still a deal I would have considered, but my goal was to be under the threshold, and we have a championship-caliber team even at that level.

Q. You talked about starting, adding starting pitching depth as something that you want to do, do you still have the funds to stay under and accomplish that?
HAL STEINBRENNER: We have definitely got some funds and we're going to address -- again, this is the week that the whole process starts, right? Now that we have got a manager and got one big signing, but, yes, we are comfortably right now under the threshold and I'm going to put every dollar I possibly can into making this club as good as it could be.

Q. You said without Stanton you had a championship-caliber team, what does his addition do in terms of your excitement level and your anticipation and your expectations for next year?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Expectations are always the same, as you know, which is to win a championship. But look, I think that the club last year was young, exciting, hungry as he said, and I think that even before this deal was done I think we did have a championship-caliber team. That doesn't mean we're going to continue to try to improve it. He obviously brings a whole new dimension. He's a league MVP and a really good guy, and it's going to be exciting. He's going to produce some runs for us, and seeing him and Judge and Sanchez and Bird and Didi, it's going to be exciting for our fans. They're excited.

Q. Are you ready to announce Cashman's extension?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Without getting into specifics, yes, Cashman is going to stay. I want him to stay and he's going to stay.

Q. Five years?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Got to have some fun here, right?

Q. Jimmy Nederlander when he was your dad's partner, he told your dad New York's a town of stars. Did that lesson filter down to you, and do you think about it when doing deals like this, stars help sell this team?
HAL STEINBRENNER: Well, I know the city we're in and I know that our fans love the big marquee players, but we also learned this year that our fans love every bit as much homegrown players that they can follow over the course of years and finally get up to the varsity and really perform. So I think that's equally exciting. If it's a factor in my thinking, it's probably a small one, but this is New York City. These are the Yankees.

Q. Do you like feeling like the favorite again?
HAL STEINBRENNER: That's a good question. I haven't even thought of that. Assuming I am the favorite, that's not the way I would normally like to think. I just want to get the best team together we possibly can for our fans and hope to get out there and stay healthy and perform and contend, which I believe they will do.

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