Rumors have been running rampant over the last 24-48 hours about the possibility of the Steinbrenner family putting the New York Yankees up for sale.
Multiple baseball and finance sources told the New York Daily News they are hearing that the team could be put on the block in the wake of the record sale price of $2.175 billion the Los Angeles Dodgers went for in April. The Daily News even put together a list of potential buyers in the event the Yankees were actually for sale.
Shortly after the report made rounds, the Yankees brass – including managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine adamantly denied and rebuffed any such notion. (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN) to Yankees team president Randy Levine on the Michael Kay Show [ESPN New York 98.7FM] about the report in the New York Daily News.
“I just learned of the Daily News story. It is pure fiction. The Yankees are not for sale. I expect that the Yankees will be in my family for many years to come.” - Hal Steinbrenner
“I can say to you there is absolutely, positively nothing to this. The Steinbrenners are not selling the team.” - Randy Livine
Hal Steinbrenner made waves in Spring Training this year when he made his intentions public and abundantly clear by saying he wants to lower the payroll below the 189 million dollar luxury tax threshold set by Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
“I’m a finance geek. I guess I always have been, that’s my background; budgets matter and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.” – Hal Steinbrenner
If the Yankees can get under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold, they will benefit threefold: Not only will the club save money on payroll, it won’t have to pay a luxury tax and will reap a revenue-sharing rebate.
Just as I said back in March when I wrote about Steinbrenner’s desire to lower the payroll, I believe he’s absolutely right.
Those of you who know me, know that I am more than okay with this recent “change in philosophy” the Yankees have been committed to in recent years. I have longed for the Yankees to get back to putting an emphasis on drafting and player development and less commitments towards thirty something free agents by whom you are paying for accomplishments in earlier years.
I honestly believe the Steinbrenner family has no plans to sell the team. However, I agree with Mike Lupica and his column. The Steinbrenner’s would be foolish not to listen to offers for the franchise. After all, there’s roughly 3 billion reasons to listen. I mean, if the Los Angeles Dodgers were sold for 2.175 billion, how much do you think the New York Yankees are worth?
It’s hard not to see anything but dollar signs if you were in the same situation as the Steinbrenner family.
I know I would.
Besides, if this rumor had any truth to it at all Major League Baseball would know about it and all indications are they aren’t aware of any potential sale.