This offseason has prompted quite a debate about whether the Yankees are being cheap. There is an argument to be made for both sides, and Pinstripe Alley readers have bickered about this for months. Even Hal Steinbrenner is sick of hearing the complaints. Yesterday, he said:
“If there’s a narrative that we’re not spending money and being cheap, it’s just false. I mean, we’re well above the $200M [in payroll] —we’re at $220M right now—and we’re well above where we were last year.”
Hal is not the only one who thinks that just because the Yankees passed the luxury tax threshold, they aren’t being cheap. It is factually true that their payroll in 2019 will be larger than it was in 2018. The Yankees signed a lot of players over the winter, but elected to sign less expensive players to shorter deals. They are also near the top of the league in payroll, and made the decision to keep signing players like Adam Ottavino (and really push themselves over the threshold) instead of calling it quits for the winter.
Steinbrenner argued that they aren’t cheap, citing a plethora of other expenditures:
“With no discussion of our costs, that’s always the problem,” Steinbrenner said. “I hear everything about our revenues, I hear nothing about our cost. I hear nothing about the gargantuan debt service payment that we have to pay every year (on bonds that financed new Yankee Stadium), nothing about all of our stadium operations, all the security, not to mention player payroll, not to mention revenue sharing.”
On the other hand, we’ve seen an inverse relationship between the Yankees’ revenue and their payroll over the past few years. They went through the song and dance with Patrick Corbin, but ultimately let him sign elsewhere. It doesn’t look like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper are going to earn the big payday that either was hoping for. The Yankees also seem content to let other teams sign them, despite their prices dropping. Not to mention the fact that they’re dragging Luis Severino to arbitration over $800,000.
Let’s settle this debate once and for all with a good old fashioned poll. Do you think the Yankees are being cheap? Does it depend on whether they end up signing Machado or Harper? Vote in the poll below and let us know in the comment section.
Do you think the Yankees are being cheap?
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