SBD/January 16, 2014/Franchises

Steinbrenner Calls A-Rod An "Asset," But Does Not Discuss Team's Future Plans

Steinbrenner insists he hasn't thought ahead to A-Rod's '15 season
Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner yesterday said he considered 3B Alex Rodriguez an “asset,” but declined to discuss in detail the club’s future plans for the suspended player. Steinbrenner did not rule out a return of Rodriguez to the Yankees active roster. “He is a great player," Steinbrenner said. "I have not thought about 2015, nor am I going to right now. My focus has to be on right now. But when he’s on and when he’s healthy, he’s obviously an asset. ... This is business. I’m just focusing on the team. A player -- is that player an asset to the team or not? That's as far as I want to go. I don’t get personal.” Rodriguez is eligible to return to the team next year after his PED suspension was recently reduced by an arbitrator from 211 games to the entire ’14 season. He is still owed $61M by the Yankees through the ’17 season. Meanwhile, Steinbrenner said the club is advancing plans to formally retire former manager Joe Torre's No. 6 jersey during the upcoming season. Torre will be inducted into the Baseball HOF this summer. Steinbrenner added the Yankees are considering “multiple” uniform number retirings that would, in part, include Torre. Among the potential honorees would be former players Jorge Posada (No. 20), Andy Pettitte (No. 46), Paul O’Neill (No. 21) and Bernie Williams (No. 51).

HOPING FOR ATTENDANCE, RATINGS JUMPS: The Yankees are eyeing rebounds in both attendance and TV ratings in the '14 season after taking significant hits on both counts during an injury-marred '13 campaign. “New York is a star town,” Steinbrenner said, in part referring to recent free-agent signings Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. “I think the fans will be excited to see these guys play.”
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