NEW YORK — He won’t say yes, and he won’t say no.

“I’m not going to talk about anybody in particular,” said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, when asked about free agent starters Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg during a YES Network interview.

“But let me just say that all options are open as far as I’m concerned.”

During a sit down with Meredith Marakovits on the off-season premier edition of Yankees Hot Stove, airing Monday night at 7 p.m., Steinbrenner emphasized that he’d listen on any recommendations from his baseball operations team, including top-of-the-market free agent starters.

“Anything that rolls around, across my desk, I’m going to be looking at real seriously,” Steinbrenner said.

But leading up to next week’s MLB Winter Meetings at San Diego, it’s still difficult to gauge the Yankees’ exact appetite for a big-ticket free agent starter, coming off a 103-win season.

———

Plus, the Yankees still have potential holes to fill at two major positions – shortstop and center field – with Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner in the free agent market and Aaron Hicks in a lengthy rehab from his recent Tommy John surgery.

Steinbrenner did not abandon the idea of re-signing Gardner, 36, coming off arguably his best season.

“He checks all the boxes, offensively, defensively, and his presence in the clubhouse. His leadership is key,” Steinbrenner told YES. “We’re going to be talking about (re-signing him) seriously…and see where it ends up.”

Shortly after being eliminated by the Houston Astros in a six-game AL Championship Series, the Yankees added a one-year extension for Aroldis Chapman, who had the right to opt out of the final two years remaining on his original contract.

“He’s an integral part of the team…an elite closer,” Steinbrenner said. “And we would have been a lesser team without him, without a doubt.”

———

Yankee controling owner Hal Steinbrenner attends a private Baseball Clinic in London, Thursday, June 27, 2019. The Yankees are hosting for approximately 100 youth in the London community in conjunction with the London Meteorites Baseball and Softball Club this private Baseball Clinic. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Yankee controling owner Hal Steinbrenner attends a private Baseball Clinic in London, Thursday, June 27, 2019. The Yankees are hosting for approximately 100 youth in the London community in conjunction with the London Meteorites Baseball and Softball Club this private Baseball Clinic. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) (Photo: Frank Augstein, AP)

As for the 2019 season in review, Steinbrenner offered a mix of pride and disappointment.

“We enter every October with the mindset of winning a championship and we failed to do that, there’s no way to sugarcoat that,” Steinbrenner told YES. “In the end, in October, we failed. (But) that does not mean the season, of course, was a failure.

“Given all the adversity we faced, with 30 different guys on the IL, and just all the transitioning of guys coming up, guys going down…to win the division for he first time in seven years (and) to win 103 games, there was a lot of bright spots in the season as a whole.

“But in the end we didn’t get it done.”

———

©2019 The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)

Visit The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) at www.NorthJersey.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Enter your email address and submit to receive RTD Sports emails each weekday morning

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.