Hal Steinbrenner: Yanks not for sale

New York Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner vehemently denied a report Thursday that his family is considering selling the team.

"I just learned of the (New York) Daily News story. It is pure fiction," he said. "The Yankees are not for sale. I expect that the Yankees will be in my family for many years to come."

Since the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers for more than $2 billion this year, speculation has swirled about what the Yankees would fetch. The late George Steinbrenner, Hal's father, bought the Yankees for $8.8 million in 1973.

The Daily News, citing anonymous sources, said that the market for premier teams, the departure of key Yankees veterans and the fact that Hal Steinbrenner is frustrated by baseball's bloated salaries have conspired to make the family explore the possibility of selling the team.

Without addressing specifics of the story, Yankees president Randy Levine also strongly denied the prospect of a sale.

"I can say to you there is absolutely, positively nothing to this," he said, according to the Daily News. "The Steinbrenners are not selling the team."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman echoed the sentiment.

"It's highly unlikely the family would consider selling," he said to ESPNNewYork.com. "Every impression I have gotten from Hal leads me to believe they plan to be involved in this for generations to come and pass it on to their children."

As George Steinbrenner's health declined in the years before his 2010 death, he ceded control of the team to sons Hal and Hank. Hank Steinbrenner initially concentrated on baseball operations, with Hal controlling the finances, but Hank Steinbrenner has faded into the background, and his brother has become the face of the family.

In order to disclose financial records to potential investors, the Yankees would need to notify the commissioner's office.

"Major League Baseball has received no indications from any representatives of the New York Yankees or anyone else that the club is for sale," the commissioner's office said in a statement.

If the Yankees ever do go on the market, one bidder to count out is Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I have front row tickets which cost a fortune," Bloomberg joked to reporters. "That's as much as I can afford."

ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.