Yanks for sale? Sure, why not.
Via The Daily News:
Rumors are flying in Major League Baseball and New York banking circles that the family that has owned Major League Baseball’s premiere franchise since Cleveland shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchased the club for $8.8 million in 1973 is exploring the possibility of selling the Yankees.
Multiple baseball and finance sources told the Daily News they are hearing that the team the Steinbrenner family has led to seven World Series titles 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.
“There has been chatter all around the banking and financial industries in the city for a couple of weeks now,” one high-level baseball source told The News.
Given the way Hal Steinbrenner is generally framed — a business-first, finance wonk — I’m surprised this narrative hasn’t materialized sooner.
Ben over at River Ave Blues rebuked this one pretty nicely.
Reading the Daily News article closely though, we see the thesis begin to fall apart. The unsourced quotes concern timing. Everyone agrees now would be a great time to sell the Yanks, but “now” is always a great time to sell a baseball team. As baseball is growing with no signs of slowing down, any team — and especially the Yankees — is a valuable commodity. The News’ strongest argument for the sale seemingly is Hal Steinbrenner’s reluctance to hand out large contracts and his hands-off ownership approach. I’m not so sure either of those are negatives.
Of course, the Yankees, as well as Major League Baseball, have adamantly denied the rumors. For the Steinbrenners, let’s be honest, selling the Yankees would surely be a fruitful endeavor, with a possible $3 billion valuation, as reported by the Daily News. However, based off of what we definitively know — via official statements as opposed to unnamed sources — this does not appear to be in the works or remotely upcoming.
We should, though, consider that this may happen one day. Maybe not a year, or 10 years from now, but perhaps one day. If anything, this story allows us to consider that possibility.