Yankees president Randy Levine expects team to be active at Trade Deadline

Yankees president Randy Levine said on Tuesday that, even with some key names on the comeback trail, he does expect general manager Brian Cashman to be actively seeking upgrades as the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches.

“We’re the Yankees. We’re always active,” Levine said at a Yankee Stadium press conference to announce a Pinstripe Bowl partnership with the ACC. “We’re always trying to get better. We’ll leave that to Cash to see where the team is, what’s the best move, what do we really need, which players are coming back, when are they coming back. Cash, after talking to Joe [Girardi], will make that decision.”

“I think Hal [Steinbrenner] has said it over and over again, he’s committed to bringing a championship team to the Yankees, to the fans of New York. We’ve been acting the same way for decades. We’ve been banged up, we’ve had a lot of injuries, a lot of tough breaks. The guys out there are fighting, scratching. It’s quite amazing to me that we’re one game behind in the loss column, overcoming all of this. We’re going to do everything we can to try and win.”

Levine also touched on several other topics during a brief exchange with several reporters:

On Alex Rodriguez’s upcoming return:
“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Cash today or the trainers. All I know is what Cash told me, and I think he told you guys yesterday, that as of last night there was no date for him to begin a rehab assignment. Obviously if he’s getting better and he’s ready to go, the sooner the better, good. But I haven’t heard anything that the clock started or he’s ready to go.”

On the Yankees’ willingness to add payroll for 2014:
“I think Hal has been incredibly clear that $189 [million] is a goal. It’s something that we’re going to look to see if we’re going to accomplish, but the overriding goal is to constantly provide Yankees fans a championship team. I think he said it as well as could be said, and I’m going to repeat what he said, because I think that says it all. That’s a great goal. We don’t know who’s going to be here and not going to be here next year. We’ve got a lot of free agents on this team. There are other events that are going on. We’ll see what happens and hopefully we can accomplish both at the same time, but the overriding goal is – as Hal has said – is to maintain the Yankees’ desire to provide a championship team for Yankee fans all over.”

On Major League Baseball’s investigation into A-Rod and others:
“It doesn’t weigh on our mind. That’s something that’s in the hands of the Commissioner’s Office. They’re investigating it. I’m sure they’ll do a very thorough job. The Players Association is involved in it and it’s out of our control. Something is going to happen or not happen based on the evidence and based on that procedure. We have full confidence in the Commissioner’s Office and Rob Manfred and his team to get to the bottom of this. It’s a factor and it may have an effect on certain players or certain things. It may not. It’s just something that’s a factor that we try to take a look at every factor. Nobody is assuming that anybody is getting suspended. Nobody is assuming that there are any findings. We’re in America and the last I looked, everyone is innocent until evidence is presented against them.”

On if Mark Teixeira’s salary will still be covered by the World Baseball Classic:
“No, the salary reverts to us at the time that he came back. And obviously we have our own insurance on Tex.”

On what would happen if Teixeira needs season-ending surgery:
“Why would I answer that question now? Unless something happened today, we don’t have an answer. We’ll deal with that if and when it happens. But we have pretty good coverage on him, as with a lot of our players.”

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