NEW YORK — The New York Yankees may be buyers, not sellers, as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

Led by young stars Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the retooled Yankees began Wednesday in the AL East lead at 23-13, a seven-win improvement over last year at this time. The owner, Hal Steinbrenner, said New York’s starting pitching has been a pleasant surprise and he’ll consider making roster additions – but won’t trade top prospects.

New York traded Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran last summer, and released Alex Rodriguez. New York’s offense improved following the injection of youth, and the generational change has helped fans connect with younger players. The Yankees’ television ratings rebounded to their highest level since Derek Jeter’s final season in 2014.

“We actually have young players for fans to be excited about, particularly the millennials, who are always Facetiming and Snapchatting,” Steinbrenner said. “They do these Facetime interviews and these Twitter question-and-answer things that 10 years ago none of us would be talking about and I still don’t understand, but they do them and clearly younger fans are really enjoying it.”

PIRATES: Tests on tissue removed from pitcher Jameson Taillon last week confirmed he is dealing with testicular cancer.

 Chinese pitcher Hai-Cheng Gong, 18, agreed to a minor-league contract.

TIGERS: Miguel Cabrera was a late scratch from the starting lineup against Baltimore because of a sore left side.

CUBS: Chicago recalled right-hander Pierce Johnson from Triple-A Iowa and optioned infielder Jeimer Candelario to its top farm club.