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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: WBC, Cashman, and CASH!

by Paul Semendinger

March 24, 2023

***

I did not follow the WBC, but I did tune in for the final innings of the final game. I enjoyed the Shohei Ohtani vs. Mike Trout battle to end the game and the series. That was classic baseball right there. It was the best against the best. I found myself rooting for both players. I wanted them both to succeed.


It is a shame that both players are playing for a team that has not performed well. Even as baseball expands the amount of teams in the playoffs, the Angels are on the outside looking in. I'd love for Trout and Ohtani to be Yankees, but I don't ever see it happening.


It's too bad that Mike Trout has played so well for so long and has never received the recognition he deserves. He might go down in history as the least known baseball superstar ever.

***

I saw this tweet the other day and it pleased me greatly:


I think, over the course of his career, Brian Cashman has been a very good General Manager. I also believe that over the last few years, the deals he has made have been bad - not just not good, but bad.


At the end of last season I was frustrated because Brian Cashman made a comment about not looking at the results, but instead looking at the process, as he and Aaron Boone tried to explain away the latest season without a World Series appearance. It seemed that they were looking for ways to not take responsibility for another disappointing finish.


Process matters, of course, but in a professional sports (and in so many other areas as well) so do the results. Last year it felt like the Yankees' leaders were looking for excuses rather than taking responsibility for what was a long and often miserable second half of the season.


I admire Brian Cashman for accepting responsibility for what looks like a failure of a trade.


We all make mistakes. I make them every single day. I believe we learn and we grow from our mistakes. It's how we move forward. If the Yankees are willing to look at the results, and not just the process, and to learn from the bad deals they make, they too can move forward.


***

According to Forbes (see Tweet below), the Yankees are now worth 7.1 BILLION dollars.


The next closest team in value is the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are worth $4.8 billion.


This makes the Yankees worth 2.3 billion more dollars than their next closest competitor in value. The value of the Yankees increased by 18% last year.


The following shows one billion compared to the grand total of Aaron Judge's yearly salary (40 million):


1,000,000,000

40,000,000


It would take 25 Aaron Judge annual contracts to equal one billion dollars. Again, the Yankees are worth 2.3 billion dollars more than the Dodgers, the next most valuable franchise.


Said another way, the Yankees' net worth advantage just over the Dodgers equals 57.5 players all earning Aaron Judge's salary.


Or, another way... The Yankees have a value worth more than the fifth and sixth most valuable franchises COMBINED.


And one more way... Difference between the Yankees and the Dodgers is more than the total value of 20 other franchises beginning with the 11th most valuable team, the Astros at $2.25 billion.


This, the Yankees' vast and profound wealth, is their biggest advantage over the rest of the sport. When the Yankees try to cut costs and find the least expensive ways to address issues, they are only hurting themselves. They are purposefully putting themselves at the levels of their competitors unnecessarily.


There is no reason that the Yankees should feel compelled to limit their spending by any luxury tax level. The Yankees basically print money. They are, by far, by billions of dollars, baseball's richest franchise. By billions of dollars. They can afford to have a $40 million player at every position.


The 25th highest annual salary in baseball for 2023 is $26 million. Take a look at this site. Pick the highest played players at each position, including five starting pitchers, and a complete bullpen and bench. Build a complete 26-man roster. Then add up all their salaries combined. That expenditure, that cost, would be less than the difference between the Yankees and the Dodgers. That's what $2.3 billion looks like.


I know there are Yankee apologists who care a great deal about the Yankees' costs. Not me. The Yankees derive much of their value from the revenue streams that come from their great and loyal fan base who spend tons of money to support the franchise they love. Many fans, like me, want the Yankees to invest their money into building a World Championship team. The have the financial strength to do this. In 2022, the Yankees' net worth went up 18%. I would have to imagine that the vast majority of their fans did not see a similar rise in their own net worth.


Yesterday, the Yankees showcased their $20.00 Aaron Judge burger. If they sell all 99 of those each game they'll bring in $160,380 on sales for just that one item in the stadium.


I don't think any of us can truly comprehend what $7.1 billion even is. It's a lot of money. It's a ton. The Yankees have money in abundance. And then some. They are light years ahead of the other richest teams and galaxies beyond that for most of the rest of baseball.


The Yankees should be constrained by any spending limits. Period.


***

Let's Go Yankees!





9 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Mar 25, 2023

Enterprise value is all very well and good, but for the partners (I assume the Yankees are still a limited partnership), the value to them is income from distributions. I don't know what income - costs are for the Yankees, though I assume it's positive, but that amount is what's really at issue for Hal and his partners. The enterprise value only becomes relevant when you sell, as the Wilpons were forced to do with the Mets in the wake of the Madoff fraud.


If that seems esoteric, let me use a more common example. I have owned wherever I live since 1994. I have a lot of equity built up in my home. But that equity doesn't do anyth…


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etbkarate
Mar 24, 2023

Agree Paul, my problem is that when they do spend, its spent incorrectly. Which is why I have been a proponent of a new mgt team.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Mar 24, 2023
Replying to

I don't disagree on much here.


The Yankees made mad budgetary decisions and then put themselves in the position where they can't address other needs because of the self-imposed (and very unnecessary) limits they place on themselves.


On one hand they say, "We can afford Donaldson's salary." Which they can, of course.


But then they say, "Well, we're paying Donaldson so we can't spend money to get the next player we need." Which speaks to poor decision making/management of resources.


The Yankees have enough money to go big on a guy like Donaldson and then if it doesn't work out to eat the salary and move on.

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ldegraphics
Mar 24, 2023

PS or their fans!!!!

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fuster
Mar 24, 2023

the Yankees are one team in the league

that they are the most valuable does not mean that they are free of any obligation to the other teams or to the league.

as the richest team, the yankees can afford to purchase ...or even develop.... the most sophisticated eavesdropping equipment and thereby use their wealth to create an advantage over their rivals.

the Yankees might be able to afford air conditioning systems in the visitors clubhouse that cause the visitors to become slightly less alert.

the Yankees can well afford to import, and then whisk away, the most highly skilled operatives to dispatch, of apparently natural causes, lavishly paid Yankee players who no longer perform to expectations. No longer would…


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yankeesblog
Mar 24, 2023

Well said. The Yankees artificially limit themselves for reasons that are pretty transparent. Hal obviously cares more about his bondholders than winning. That's his prerogative as the owner. But expecting the fans to shell out super premium prices for tickets, parking, concessions, cable subscriptions and also Apple TV, Peacock and Amazon Prime memberships so they can watch all of the games while forcing the team to live under these self-imposed limits is the height of hypocrisy.


I don't live in the NY area so I can see all of the games minus the ones on Apple and Peacock through MLB.tv. I don't have Amazon Prime because I refuse to do business or have an kind of relationship with Amazon. But…


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yankeesblog
Mar 24, 2023
Replying to

I'm more concerned about the WiFi charges I'm paying 😀

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