The latest rumor swirling around Yankee Universe is not a potential signing of a big name free agent to fill one of the team’s numerous holes.
It has been reported by the New York Times that media giant News Corp is close to a deal to own a minority share of the YES Network. The price is TBD but the YES Network is valued somewhere in the $4 billion range, of which the Yankees own 34%.
This means more money in the Yankees pockets as even though Goldman Sachs now owns the shares in question, the YES network will profit handsomely from the deal as it will certainly result in cost hikes for the cable companies and viewers.
And if the deal transpires it means more money in the Yankees pockets for years to come.
Just to give you an idea, in 2011 YES made an astonishing $224 million in operating income with $90 million going to the Yankees. So you can only image how much more money the Yankees will earn with News Corp at the helm.
This will make the Steinbrenner family’s global and expanding brand called Yankee Global Enterprises even more valuable. YGE includes the Yankees team, the YES Network, and other conglomerates owned by the Steinbrenner clan.
Essentially this also affords the Yankees the ability to spend money on big name players to improve the team. And technically even if the ball club took a loss the income coming in from YGE is so abundant it wouldn’t even matter; and since YGE is a private entity the profits do not have to be disclosed.
So my question is why is Hal Steinbrenner hell-bent on slashing the Yankees payroll to $189 million by 2014 if it hurts the Yankees winning now? As he is not planning on selling the team, right?
Everyone knows that Hal wants to avoid the steep 50% luxury tax implications that will be imposed if the team spends over $189 million in 2014.
It seems to me that the Hal is trying to pay off any debts the Yankees have occurred through the years, which hints that the Steinbrenner clan might be cleaning up stuff with the hopes to sell the team.
So at the expensive of breaking their promise to Yankee fans by not putting the best team on the field might be smart for the Steinbrenner family, but it is bad for the organization. And that is a shame.
As a Yankees fan I always believed in the notion that the Steinbrenner’s’ and the Yankees were synonymous but there are too many things happening that make it seem like this is no longer the case.
1) The moment Torii Hunter signed with the Tigers; Yankees of old would never just watch a nemesis get better especially with the embarrassment they endured in the 2012 ALCS. They also have a vacancy in RF too, so Hunter would have fit perfectly.
2) CBS Sports reporting that Yankees expect Marino Rivera to take a pay cut is just insulting.
3) Just letting Hiroki Kuroda hear other offers is insane, not going to take a one-year deal because he proved he is worth way more.
4) Russell Martin – see #3. And the fact that presently the team has NO starting catcher.
5) Farm System has been demolished at the top, as the top prospects are not near Major League ready yet. Exception being reliever Mark Montgomery.
Whatever the Yankee brass is up too, as President Randy Levine told Newsday that they do have a plan in place for the off-season, it certainly does not seem to involve signing the best players and putting the best team on the field in 2013-2014. And that is a shame.
Bottom-line is this whole new strategy is not sitting well with Yankees fans and Hal Steinbrenner should be ready for the repercussions. As I want to know if the Yankees will be slashing ticket prices in half too?
“When you’re entrusted with a tradition, you’ve got to protect it.” - George Steinbrenner
If you ran a delicatessen store, you would want to be the best delicatessen store, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s how I feel about the Yankees.” – Casey Stengel, on breaking up the Yankees.