Insider dares Steinbrenner on Yankees payroll: ‘Prove you can’t sustain it’

New York Yankees players celebrate after a win. Owner Hal Steinbrenner and insider Ken Rosenthal
Michael Bennington
Saturday May 25, 2024

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Many fans and analysts are not convinced by the recent crying of Hal Steinbrenner on the New York Yankees payroll. In a strongly worded statement, insider Ken Rosenthal has challenged the owner to put up everything before fans or shut up talking about payroll slashing next season.

Steinbrenner recently reiterated a familiar stance, suggesting that budget cuts could be forthcoming as the current Yankees payroll is not sustainable. According to him, payrolls at the levels the franchise is currently operating are not financially sustainable, given the luxury tax they must pay.

This stance is not sitting well with Yankees fans in New York City. Historically, payroll has rarely been an issue for the Yankees, dating back to George Steinbrenner‘s free-spending ways and the run of five World Series titles from 1996-2009. However, since his son took over, it has been a major topic of discussion, despite earlier indications that the team would soon begin contract extension negotiations with Juan Soto.

His comments continue to send conflicting signals about the direction of the once-prestigious organization. Despite the Bronx Bombers’ solid 36-17 start heading into Friday’s MLB games, which one might expect to alleviate tensions, drama persists.

Yankees captain Aaron Judge is with GM Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner.
Charles Wenzelberg / NYP

Insider challenges Steinbrenner’s Yankees payroll stance

Ken Rosenthal recently appeared on the “Foul Territory” show and questioned Hal Steinbrenner’s stance on the team’s payroll situation. The well-known baseball analysts for The Athletic and MLB demanded that the owner must present adequate evidence to support his claim. Rosenthal asked the Yankees’ managing partner to open the franchise’s books and prove they could not sustain the current payroll levels while making it clear that he didn’t believe the concerns for a second.

“Open your books, prove you can’t sustain it, because I don’t believe that for a second,” he demanded.

Rosenthal is right to make such a demand. An examination of the numbers paints a different picture than what Steinbrenner insists on. According to data from Spotrac, the New York Yankees have the second-highest payroll in baseball at $305.35 million. This figure represents an increase from $278.65 million in 2023 and $252.96 million in 2022.

Forbes reports that the Yankees generated $679 million in revenue during the previous season, including a staggering $284 million from gate receipts alone. Their total revenue exceeded that of any other MLB franchise by $130 million. It is also worth noting that the Yankees are valued at an impressive $7.55 billion.

While there are other factors to consider, Rosenthal’s comments allude to these financial figures.

Undoubtedly, the Yankees must address concerns, such as re-signing Juan Soto after the 2024 season and addressing their questionable pitching staff. However, asserting that the current payroll situation is unsustainable does not align with the available facts, and it only showcases the great organization in a bad light.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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