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Around the Yankee Universe: Money, money, money, money

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When you are talking about the New York Yankees, we know that the discussion always comes back to the money that the Yankees make. and, of course, that they spend.

I have learned to live with it. The Yankees have unmatched resources, and I am thrilled that they choose to use them in an effort to win. The Steinbrenners have never simply looked at the Yankees as a business to profit from.

That is why I hate revenue sharing, though it is something I have to live with. and, as a Yankee fan I find cries about the need for a salary cap to be little more than whining from fans of teams who have badly run organizations, or owners who don't care about winning.

With that as background, I was fascinated by a recent article in the Biz of Baseball which shows that many teams around baseball are simply taking their revenue-sharing dollars from the Yankees, Red Sox and anyone else who has to pay and putting them in the bank.

This year, approx. $400 million will be distributed from high revenue making clubs such as the Yankees and Red Sox to those at the low end of the spectrum, such as the Marlins, Pirates, Rays, and Royals.

Revenue-sharing figures for each of the 30 clubs have not been leaked to the media since 2002-2003, and 2005 (see the complete set of figures), which saw revenue transfers of $169 million, $220 million, and $308.4 million respectively.

So, just over $190 million more in revenues will move between payors and payees this year compared to the last year that full figures were available in 2005, an increase of 22.9 percent.

Looking back at the figures from 2005, the Rays had the highest level of revenue-sharing funds come their way at $33 million. Since 2005, the revenue-sharing formula has become far more complex than in the prior CBA, using a system that looks at trailing years of revenues, and other factors. But, for discussion sake, if we look at the largest receiver of revenue-sharing funds over the life of the data we have (Expos for 2002-2003, and Rays in 2005), we could apply an approx. 3 percent increase from then to now. That would give the team receiving the most revenue-sharing in 2009 (likely, the Marlins), $42.9 million in revenue-sharing funds. So, if we were to add Stark’s central fund average, minus pension fund of $30 million, the idea that a club received between $70-$75 million in revenue-sharing and centralized funds is not out of the question.

With that, here's some Opening Day player payroll figures (minus bonuses, deferred payments and incentive clauses, or, money paid or received in trades or for players who have been released). to digest:

  • Marlins - $36,834,000
  • Pirates - $48,693,000
  • A's - $62,310,000
  • Royals - $70,519,333
  • Padres - $43,734,200
  • Nationals - $60,328,000
  • Rays - $63,313,034
  • This is why I hate revenue sharing, which is designed to increase competitive balance. The big-market teams make the money, and the small-market owners simply take it and line their pockets with it.

    Simply put, that's not right.

    Other Notes