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Yankee's payroll reportedly comes in at $164 million

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Yankee's payroll reportedly comes in at $164 million

Postby Big-O Mark » Tue Feb 04, 2003 10:03 am

Report: Mets' $119M payroll distant second to Yanks'

Monday, February 3

ESPN.com news services

So much for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement forcing the New York Yankees to curtail their spending.

Owner George Steinbrenner stopping at nothing to improve the Yankees, and sources familiar with their books told the New York Daily News last week that the team's current payroll for 2003 is an all-time high of $164 million -- about $24 million more than at this time a year ago.

That's $45 million more than the second highest, the Mets' $119 million, according to figures obtained by the newspaper.

New York's payroll also is almost 60 percent greater than the division rival Boston Red Sox, who are sixth highest in the majors at $103 million. The size of the Yankees' payroll compared to baseball's other 29 franchises was a major reason the CBA includes the so-called "luxury tax," which is geared to increase competitive balance by discouraging overspending.

Both New York teams will try to shed some salary before the season begins, according to the Daily News, but if their payroll levels remain where they are, they will be the only two teams in baseball forced to pay a luxury tax.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, any team with a 2003 payroll number exceeding the "threshold" of $117 million would pay 17.5 percent on the excess. As they stand now, the Mets would have to pay about $350,000 and the Yankees $8 million to $9 million.

And every time a team exceeds the luxury tax threshold, its tax rate rises.

"Winning and appealing to fans is where the money is," Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost told the Daily News. "We also are growing the next generation of fan with our approach."

In the days after a surprising first-round playoff loss to the Angels, Yankees executives sounded as if they were working for other small-market clubs. They vowed to cut salary and general manager Brian Cashman even said the club's payroll wouldn't have to match the $140 million they had tied up at the start of last season.

"You don't have to spend that kind of money to win," Cashman said at the time.

When Cashman couldn't find takers for overpriced players Rondell White (due $5 million in 2003), Raul Mondesi ($7 million) and Sterling Hitchcock ($6 million) and Matsui and Contreras became available, the team decided it could not do without the latter two. Matsui was signed for $21 million over three years, Contreras for $32 million over four years.

"What we see with the Yankees is that there has been no change in priorities," a baseball official told the Daily News. "Certainly they talked about cutting payroll and ... there's no disputing they made an effort to. It was probably always their plan."

If the Yankees were to trade either Mondesi, White of Hitchcock in the coming weeks, it would not only reduce the payroll but also their luxury tax number.

"But they still believe the best way to make money is to put fans in the seats with a winner on the field," the baseball official said. "There are things in place that would deter most teams from spending, but these guys won't let it compromise their first priority."

According to the Daily News, the $164 million figure includes benefits but not performance incentives, which cost the Yankees an additional $4 million last season (mostly to left-hander David Wells). That figure also is greater than any other franchise's.

Agents point to this component of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, as well as the increased revenue-sharing plan, as "market shapers." Only a handful of free agents found themselves signing this offseason for what they wanted, which has fueled the current talk about collusion by owners.

"Really, how can you compete when somebody is spending 80 or 90 million more?" Hall of Famer George Brett told the Kansas City Star. "The only thing you can do is catch lightning in a bottle like Oakland or Minnesota. (The Royals) haven't caught lightning in a bottle."

Brett was part of a group that made an unsuccessful attempt to buy the Royals, who he played 21 seasons for before retiring in 1993, after founding owner Ewing Kauffman's death.

"I can't see myself staying in Kansas City as a player," Brett said. "Not now. It's all changed. I would sign one-year contracts."
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Postby Anthony » Tue Feb 04, 2003 10:16 am

No team should have to compeat with a team that has a 60% percent payroll advantage over another team, let alone what the teams that are not #6 overall with the highest payroll.

Maybe I should bite my tongue though since my local sports team has the largest payroll in the league (which of course equals top team over life in the league.).

I say that there should be a overall limit, that somehow has to do with the income of the teams. Like the the smallest income team would not be able to meet it, but a team with a huge income would be limited by it.
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Postby Timelessblur » Tue Feb 04, 2003 12:59 pm

Why do you think I have no respect for the yankee always winning the world series. THey basicly are buying there win. The yankee are another reason why there needs to be a sarlree cap and revanus sharing on baseball so it would have fair play
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Postby Anthony » Tue Feb 04, 2003 1:22 pm

Timelessblur wrote:Why do you think I have no respect for the yankee always winning the world series. THey basicly are buying there win. The yankee are another reason why there needs to be a sarlree cap and revanus sharing on baseball so it would have fair play


I think the same exact way, yet if you were talking about my local team I would find a way to attack you for it :roll: ... very hypercritical I know...
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Postby Moon Child » Tue Feb 04, 2003 10:21 pm

Timelessblur wrote:Why do you think I have no respect for the yankee always winning the world series. THey basicly are buying there win. The yankee are another reason why there needs to be a sarlree cap and revanus sharing on baseball so it would have fair play


I have respect for some of the players on the Yankees. I saw some of their players play Triple-A ball when they were with the Columbus (Oh) Clippers, and still think they are decent players. Their attitudes may need adjusting, but so do those of many people.

I do not have respect for George Steinbrenner. Not because of the team, but because of what he did in his past. My dad came from Lorain, Ohio, which is near Cleveland. He had a friend who had worked at the shipyards there for 22 years. Steinbrenner owned both the shipyards in Lorain and a shipyard in Virginia. He had told the workers of the shipyards in Lorain that he would keep them open, he had to close one of the two, if they would take a pay cut. Rather than loose their jobs, they agreed to the paycut. Two years later, Steinbrenner announced he was closing the Lorain shipyards because he could not afford to keep them open any longer, yet he signed a pitcher to the Yankees for millions of dollars.

My dad's friend was a salary employee. When he and the other salaried employees retired from the shipyards, they did not receive their pension that they were promised. They have spent millions in lawsuits against Steinbrenner to regain their lost pensions, yet nothing has happened yet. Even if they do win, chances are that their pensions would go to their lawyers instead of them. To me, Steinbrenner is nothing but a cheat, liar, scum. Nothing would change my mind.
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Postby Timelessblur » Tue Feb 04, 2003 10:32 pm

the players on the yankees I think are very gifted people and I respect there talent but the team is self I have no respect for because all the talent and there wins are bought. Baseball needs to become competive because the yankees just go to show you how unfair Nation Baseball is
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Postby skudz » Wed Feb 05, 2003 12:52 am

Timelessblur wrote:the players on the yankees I think are very gifted people and I respect there talent but the team is self I have no respect for because all the talent and there wins are bought. Baseball needs to become competive because the yankees just go to show you how unfair Nation Baseball is

well the A's arent like the Yankees, and look how far they get. just as far.
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Postby Big-O Mark » Wed Feb 05, 2003 10:11 am

The biggest problem with good, young teams like the A's and the Twins is that once their players become eligible for free agency (after 6 years of Major League service), there's no way they can afford to keep all their good players. So then they have to decide which 2 or 3 players they need to keep, and then trade away everyone else for prospects and hope they turn out as good as the players they just lost.

Meanwhile, teams with big budgets will be receiving all this high priced, established talent, furthering the gap between the teams with and without the big bucks.
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Postby skudz » Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:32 pm

Big-O Mark wrote:The biggest problem with good, young teams like the A's and the Twins is that once their players become eligible for free agency (after 6 years of Major League service), there's no way they can afford to keep all their good players. So then they have to decide which 2 or 3 players they need to keep, and then trade away everyone else for prospects and hope they turn out as good as the players they just lost.

Meanwhile, teams with big budgets will be receiving all this high priced, established talent, furthering the gap between the teams with and without the big bucks.


yea but thats part of the game. you cant keep them forever, some teams have salary caps. and obviously the yanks and mets dont, and i still laugh how the angels whooped them last season.
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Postby Timelessblur » Wed Feb 05, 2003 10:24 pm

skudz wrote:
Big-O Mark wrote:The biggest problem with good, young teams like the A's and the Twins is that once their players become eligible for free agency (after 6 years of Major League service), there's no way they can afford to keep all their good players. So then they have to decide which 2 or 3 players they need to keep, and then trade away everyone else for prospects and hope they turn out as good as the players they just lost.

Meanwhile, teams with big budgets will be receiving all this high priced, established talent, furthering the gap between the teams with and without the big bucks.


yea but thats part of the game. you cant keep them forever, some teams have salary caps. and obviously the yanks and mets dont, and i still laugh how the angels whooped them last season.


The leage it self needs a salary cap. The big market times just have to much power and it ruins the fun for smaller times and the compition needs to be fair
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