Report: Steinbrenners may explore sale of Yankees


(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The baseball franchise valuation world shook when Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten & Co. purchased the Dodgers for $2 billion last month, and as expected, that sale has caught the Steinbrenners’ attention. Bill Madden and Michael O’Keeffe have heard from several sources that ownership is “exploring the possibility” of selling the Yankees. “There has been chatter all around the banking and financial industries in the city for a couple of weeks now,” said one source.

Unsurprisingly, team officials has shot down the report. “I can say to you there is absolutely, positively nothing to this. The Steinbrenners are not selling the team,” said president Randy Levine. “I read the Daily News story. It is fiction. The Yankees are not for sale. I expect (the Yankees) to be in my family for many years to come,” said Hal Steinbrenner.

Of course, there’s no harm in exploring the possibility of a sale. It actually would be foolish of the Steinbrenner to not see what the team could fetch following the Dodgers’ sale. If that franchise is worth $2 billion, what are the Yankees worth, $3 billion? Well, it’s not that simple because the Yankees can’t sell the land Yankee Stadium is built on like the Dodgers were able to sell Chavez Revine. As Richard Sandomir notes, the Steinbrenner family would assume a huge tax hit with the sale because of multi-generational trusts set up by George Steinbrenner years ago, which may be a deterrent. I suspect this will not be the last we hear of this.

Categories : News


  1. Gonzo says:

    Not surprised.

    Anyone want to go in with me for a bid?

  2. Bo Knows says:

    that sucks, hopefully they decide not to

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      While it would be a stressful waiting period as they looked at bids and potential winners, if this would suck or not probably depends on who the winning team was and how they decided to run the franchise. George buying the team from CBS was possbily the best thing that could have happened to the Yankees. If Hank, Hal and others decide to sell, let’s hope the new owners make us feel the same way as George did over the long haul.

      • Bo Knows says:

        That’s the thing outside of Mark Cuban (he’s a pretentious douche, but he treats his players right) who they are never going to allow to own a team, there aren’t many people who I would have faith in doing right by the team. I just see Dolan, McCourt, John Henry, and Wilpon clones; where the team gets royally f@#ked because stupid an idiotic decisions made for money reasons and milking the franchises legacy rather than trying to build on top of what was done.

        • Bo Knows says:

          also I don’t know why that was highlighted blue, there is no link

        • Cris Pengiucci says:

          outside of Mark Cuban … there aren’t many people who I would have faith in doing right by the team.

          When it was determined that the Dodgers were going on the market, did you know that a team of investers that included Magic Johnson would be involved in the bidding? I certainly did it.

          As I stated, it would be stressful, but you never know who will enter the bidding or how they’ll run the team. Could be terrible, or it could be great.

  3. CountryClub says:

    Richard Sandomir ?@RichSandomir
    Multi-generational trusts set up by GSteinbrenner for heirs virtually preclude sale of Yanks; even if sold, heirs would incur huge tax bite

    darren rovell ?@darrenrovell
    The Yankees don’t have to engage with banks as others do because the team has no debt.

    • Delaware - Ralph says:

      noticed that also – who knows but with the new stadium I would think they have debt?? Anyway this should be interesting. Would not blame them if they sold high here at all.

    • Ed says:

      Saying they don’t have debt is completely clueless. I know people love to say the city paid for the new stadium, but they really didn’t. They created bonds to front the money, which the team is required to pay back. They took on over $1 billion in debt to build the stadium.

      And that debt is definitely owned by the team, not one of the other related businesses. Any money the team pays toward stadium debt gets deducted from the revenue counted toward revenue sharing. That’s a big part of why the stadium made sense to build.

  4. RetroRob says:

    This smells of Inception!

    Pray the Dolan’s aren’t the buyers.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Heh, I think the Dolans would be the last group the Steinbrenners would sell too. There’s been a feud between the two families for decades.

      • chaz says:

        Didn’t they have a deal in the 90s and MLB rejected it? Did the feud start after that?

        • RetroRob says:

          I thought George basically backed out of the potential deal once he realized he didn’t need Dolan or cable money. He then went off to create YES, which really pissed off the Dolans. I could be misremembering, but I thought the potential sale of the Yankees, the Dolans, and the creation of YES were all interlocked in the same time period.

          As I look back now, and knowing how much GMS loved owning the Yankees and wanted it to remain in the family, is it possible that he was never serious about selling and just used the Dolans for info as he was building plans for YES?

      • RetroRob says:

        Good. Hopefully there’s more bad blood between the Steinbrenners and the Dolans than there is between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

  5. jsbrendog says:

    this saddens me greatly and i didn’t even read anything more than the headline. I’m hoping that something in the story brings cheer. i’m gun go raid it naw

  6. mike_h says:

    is this another April Fools prank Mike?

  7. kenthadley says:

    No surprise. Some parallels to my memories of how Topping and Webb handled things in the mid 60′s. Old team, not much talent at high levels to replace the key players (from mid 20′s to very early 60′s Yanks would bring up 3-4 key players each year who would replace starters, or bundle and trade them for young talent). However, IMO the best case would be a next generation Stein takes over at some point, with a bit more fire in the belly like old George had, but with the inherent security of a Hal…George’s problem was the fire in his belly would typically move to his brain…Hal has no fire, but has the brain…we need a Stein grandkid with both…that would be something.

    • Delaware - Ralph says:

      I agree with 100% of that. Selling now may be like the sale in the 60s and I could see it making business sense. I like Hal, keep Hank away please but next generation start getting mature and express interest!

    • TomH says:

      No surprise. Some parallels to my memories of how Topping and Webb handled things in the mid 60?s. Old team, not much talent at high levels to replace the key players (from mid 20?s to very early 60?s Yanks would bring up 3-4 key players each year who would replace starters, or bundle and trade them for young talent)….

      Absolutely. They then sold it to a “faceless corporation.” I agree that if there were a “Stein grandkid” who had Gramps’ victory-or-death mentality, this would be ideal.

    • Kevin Winters says:

      Owner of the Dallas Mavericks has a passion for sports as well as deep pockets — he made a bid for the Texas Rangers — but he told the Daily News he won’t make a run for the Yankees. “After the Dodgers sale,” he said, “I couldn’t afford it.”

    • Gonzo says:

      Facebook Stadium?

      I am looking at the Forbes list and the guys based out of the NY area are all finance/buy out/hedge fund types. Ralph Lauren might be an interesting name (The Polo Grounds @ Yankee Stadium?). One of the Koch brothers might be too controversial.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Baseball won’t let him in. The league and the other 29 owners have to approve the sale and they just don’t seem to like him.

      • Gonzo says:

        In all fairness, the odds that he would be a winning bidder for the NYY is slim. The Yankees are worth more than his entire net worth. I know he might be able to finance it, but would he take on that huge risk in relation to his bankroll?

      • Scheister of Doom says:

        Jay-Z will buy the Yanks.

    • RetroRob says:

      Cuban’s total net worth is approximately $3 billion. I doubt he’s going to liquidate all his assets to buy the Yankees, which means he’d have to take out loans, or front a partnership group, which doesn’t seem his style.

      There are plenty of super wealthy people out there who could afford the Yankees, or a group as seems to be the style now judging by the recent sales of the Rangers and the Dodgers.

  8. Kosmo says:

    Apparently this story is a NY Daily News fabrication.

  9. RON says:

    HOW ABOUT A PUBLIC OFFERING? Yankee fans would love to own a share of the Yankees!….The Steinbrenners could still have controlling interest. Seems like a win win for them.

    • TomH says:

      Not a win-win if all those public owners wanted expected nice, regular dividend returns.

    • jsbrendog says:

      have you met yankee fans? that would be an absolute disaster haha

      • chaz says:

        Yeah we could all take our turns firing Girardi and benching texeira.

        • Gonzo says:

          Could you imagine the dread of other teams’ GMs taking Yankee phone calls?

          “No, I will not deal Justin Upton for Nunez and Romine.”

          “Listen, Felix is not going anywhere. Especially for a package led by David Phelps.”

          “Hi. Is this Mike Francesca? Stop the heavy breathing guy, and yes, you can have Nate McLouth for the prospects of my choosing.”

          • Mike Axisa says:

            “What are you talking about? You don’t even have Melky and IPK anymore.”

            • jjyank says:

              “WHAT? No I will not take on Teixeira’s entire contract, while trading him against his will, for a young cost controlled stud.”

              “Wait, you want me to take on A-Rod too? *hangs up*”

            • Gonzo says:

              “Hey Brian, I have Kevin Towers in a conference call. Kevin, I have Brian Sabean on the call. Listen guys, I’m working on something big. How would you guys feel about a 4 way trade?”

          • Bo Knows says:

            “Why are still calling? For the last time, I am not dealing Strasburg, and Harper for Ramiro Pena”

            • RON says:

              I am glad I spawned a silly thread…but I do believe the Packers are publicly owned…and the fans have no say….but I know Yankee fans would like to say they own a share even if it is non voting

              • Bo Knows says:

                Packers are also the only show in town, I can’t see it working in NY just because its such a large market.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “Clayton Kershaw for Schaeffer Hall. Take it or leave it, flapjack……holy shit, that just worked. Welcome to NYC, Mr. Kershaw.”

  10. Derek Jeter says:

    I will be Co-Owner when all is said and done

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      There we go. The Stein boys are waiting for Jeter to retire after the ’14 season or opt out before it. Then they’ll sell to a group led by Jeter. The talk started during his contract negotiations!

  11. joek says:

    Wow I didn’t know Hal was a ledge jumper one little stretch of bad games and he’s giving up!

    • TomH says:

      That seems to be the implication of the Lupica story. Lupica has more faults as a writer than one can count, but he has a possible point about the ledge-jumping issue: based on his guess that Hal may sense that the business of baseball is changing sufficiently to negate the power of the Yankees’ purse strings.

      • Havok9120 says:

        There’s also that whole thing where he detests the Yankees and has the Steinbrenner family about as well rated as the Antichrist.

        I think that that bears mentioning.

        • TomH says:

          What you say about his hatred of the Yankees is entirely true, but I don’t think it’s relevant to his point about the “business” of baseball undergoing important changes.

  12. Will says:

    The Steinbrenners should go public with the team. They’d make a killing on the IPO and still maintain majority ownership.

  13. David Brown says:

    If you look at the situation from a strictly financial position a sale is possible. One thing the Yankees have been stressing is getting under the luxury tax of $189m to get some financial relief. In addition, we saw the almost desperation of the Organization to get a rebuild of PNC Field (Scranton) (To the point of playing a season on the road, and paying for cost overruns (Which is quite unusual). You are also seeing things like the one year contract for their radio rights (And nothing since). We have also seen a scaling back in the Draft & IFA Spending (Not to mention other team’s free agents). All of these things are done to limit risk of some kind of adverse scenario. That said, I do not expect to see a sale of the team this year, because a big part of any sale would involve Capital Gains Taxes, which must be paid if and when the team is sold. The outcome of the November Election will have a large role in what exactly that number is. If Obama is reelected taxes are likely going up, if Romney is elected, they are likely going down. Whatever happens, it will be an interesting story to follow.

    • Bo Knows says:

      scaling back on the draft? Teams aren’t allowed to draft who they actually like, or are they always supposed to draft BA picks? And the Yankees didn’t scale back on international players, the new cba scaled back the international money.

      • Jake says:

        Actually the Yankees spending on international free agents was down significantly last year. They were outspent by several teams.

    • JohnnyC says:

      If Romney is elected, baseball will expand to the planet Kolob.

  14. Bobby says:

    Somewhat off-topic: I went to the new Monument Park for the first time last night. I love what George did for the Yanks, but that plaque is obscene.

  15. OMG! Bagels! says:

    This was debunked almost as soon as it was floated. A few sports reporters had this in their “lede” and then shot it down in the article. LoHud this this about 7 am. It seemed like it was for page views or something.

    • OMG! Bagels! says:

      *reported this

    • jjyank says:

      Perhaps, but they would deny it either way. They have no reason to admit that they would be exploring a sale, so regardless of the truth, I think we’d be getting the same response.

      In other news, can you please tell us the mystery of your handle because I go destroy my local Dunkin’s supply of bagels?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I shed a tear for your being resigned to Dunkin Donuts bagels down there. Those ain’t bagels.

        • jjyank says:

          I know, they suck. But it’s a lot closer to me than the closest real bagel place. I live in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere (for now anyway).

      • OMG! Bagels! says:

        I’ve shared it twice now. I’ll tell DD you’re coming.

  16. Will says:

    Maybe we can convince Jeter and Arod to retire so they can buy the team.


  17. Pat D says:

    I can think of one potential positive to the Steinbrothers selling the team.

    I would have to think that the new owners would tell Randy Levine to GTFO!!

  18. Jacque says:

    Many “owners” (whether owners of baseball teams or office/residential buildings in New York) who have considered selling their assets at some point in the future, are now exploring the possibility of movving up that timeline and getting the sale done this year. The reason is that the consensus view among tax professionals is that taxes on the sale of things like this are going way up significantly after this year. This story, plus the denials, makes me think the Steinbrenners probably ARE exploring a sale, but it probably is no more than that at this point — just an evaluation of the market and some analysis by professionals as to what it would look like to sell the team now.

    • Havok9120 says:

      “Plus the denials”

      If they’d gone no comment, would that also have contributed to your belief that they’re exploring a sale?

  19. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Someone outside the Steinbrenner family will own this team within our lifetime. That’s just the way things work. Eras end. You can’t stop change. It may even happen sooner than we think it would have happened.

    That being said, I’m not sold on this story in the least.

  20. RI$P FTW says:

    I don’t care who owns the team. If they suck, I’ll root for someone else.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      That’s the spirit.

      • RI$P FTW says:

        I don’t owe them anything.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          They don’t owe you anything and you’ll jump ship, but you’re spending time out of your day you could spending on something else posting on a blog for Yankee fans. Gotcha. Will file that away for the next time you’re annoying the piss out of us here.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          Sports fandom isn’t about owing anyone anything. If all you do is root for whatever team is good, you don’t experience any lows, which ruins the joy of the highs.

          If that’s your cup of tea, whatever man.

        • jjyank says:

          Sorry, you’re not a real fan then. If you would even consider rooting for another team in any circumstance, then I’m not sure what you’re doing on a Yankee blog.

          • Havok9120 says:

            Trolling. Ya know, the same thing he’s been doing under different screen names for quite some time.

          • RI$P FTW says:

            Why is it important to be a real fan?

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              It’s not important. You can be a casual fan. Why would such a casual fan want to prove their casualityness as much as you seem to?

              You’re badly trolling. You knew you’d get a rise out of some folks by saying that, and you did. The moment you start sticking around to try to justify it, you become the world’s shittiest troll.

    • jjyank says:

      Yay bandwagons!

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      Can’t tell if serious…

      If serious -> Go root for someone else now, please.

    • jsbrendog says:

      HEY HEY

      HEY HEY
      (you suck)

  21. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    If the Yankees were for sale and valued north of 2 billion dollars. Either a large corporation or many owner partners would have to be involved. My thoughts are a large corporation. Remember CBS. Yuck! Who can afford this type of money. How many Warren Buffets would like to own the Yankees. Are the Yankees priced out of the buying market as far as a sports business franchise. I wonder.

    As far as Jeter goes. He has that large house in Tampa. I could see a bunch of guys such as the Fab 4 and Arod getting together and investing in the Rays something more affordable especially with the attendance and ballpark issues in St. Pete. that can be corrected reasonably. Moreso than the Yankee cost for the team and who will keep the Yankees pushing year after year for the crown.

  22. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    *stops to pray that Zuckerberg doesn’t like baseball*

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Yankees suddenly suffer major defensive lapse because of new “hoodie” uniforms getting in everyone’s eyes.

      Strangely, Eduardo Nunez suddenly wins eight straight Gold Gloves.

  23. Aron says:

    Hey, who knows. Maybe a rich oil baron will buy up the Yankees a la Manchester City in the English Premier League. They seem to be doing pretty well.

  24. RI$P FTW says:

    I thought I posted this earlier. Maybe it got deleted.

    I don’t care who owns the team. If they stink, I’ll root for someone else.

    • RI$P FTW says:

      Now I see it. Sorry.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        It didn’t sound any smarter this time out.

        • jjyank says:

          My least favorite kind of fan.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I’m not going to knock someone just for switching allegiances at some point in their life. I’ve done so in football twice, but it was more due to moving out of the area at young enough an age. I returned to the area and correctly course as I was older. I’ve only been a fan of one baseball team and one NBA team. Switches do happen, though.

            I just love the irony of this guy’s statement, though, and his making sure it was posted, on this site.

            • RI$P FTW says:

              It’s a thread about the possibility of the Yankees being sold.
              Why should I (or anyone) blindly support a team? It’s not a sport. It’s a business. They aren’t putting money in my pocket. We’re putting money in theirs.
              It’s not like the team is made up of local dudes and therefore NYC really is better than Boston. It’s silly. None of them care about us (unless the camera is on them).

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                It’s not about “blind” support. But if you switch allegiances just because a team sucks, what the heck is the point of even rooting for anyone to begin with?

                If you don’t want an emotional attachment, just root for good baseball, watch any game that happens to be on. But it’s very weird that you’d care enough to post on a blog dedicated to the Yankees, in that case.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              The double post was really a nice touch.

        • RI$P FTW says:

          What’s ‘not smart ‘ about it? It hurt your feelings?

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I don’t give a rat’s ass who you root for, dude. I have zero vested interest in your fandom. The irony of you wanting to make sure your comment as to being such a nonchalant fan was posted was so ironically ironic, and in such an ironic way. It’s like rain on your wedding day.

            Like I said, I look forward to the next time you’re blowing steam as to something you didn’t like during a game thread.

            • RI$P FTW says:

              I’d say it hit a nerve with you. It made you think a little. I guess that’s bad these days. No one wants to think about what they’re doing, especially if they’ve already sunk a lot of money into it and walk around wearing logos (free advertising for them that YOU purchased).

              It’s a microcosm of what’s wrong with our entire country.
              People blindly support a political party that does nothing for them (both parties are the same in the end). In reality it’s us vs the politicians. They use us until we (someday) stop them.
              I’m starting to see professional sports to be the same. They use us to get rich, while we sit around thinking that Jeter and Ortiz aren’t buddies and aren’t hugging each other behind 2B in pre-game warmups (like Clinton and Bush).

              I’ve been coming to this realization slowly, but surely. I’m questioning why I would root for any team or any sport. There’s nothing noble about it. It’s not about right vs wrong. It’s about our city vs their city and throw away objectivity.

              I still appreciate the skill involved sports. It can be exciting to watch a playoff game.

              These are just some things that have been bouncing around in my head.
              Sorry for posting about sports in a sports thread on a sports site.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                I will root (casually, of course) for you to come to a better place with your existential crisis.

                This would be a great time for me to return to work.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                So why would you wait until the Yankees are bad to stop rooting for them? I still don’t get why you root for them at all, if that’s your opinion.

            • Havok9120 says:

              That’s a lot of irony.

              Isn’t that The Irony Guy’s job?

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

          that was awesome

  25. gc says:

    IT’S A TRAP!!!

    Duh-Innings is really a multi-kagillionaire and is working the press to put pressure on the Steinbrenners to sell the team to him. When he assumes ownership, his vision of the Yankees will officially become a reality.

    Lord help us all……

  26. pat says:

    A sale doesn’t really make sense to me. Feasibly, what can’t they do now with the hundreds of millions of dollars they have at their disposal that they could do with a couple billion? Yes, I realize they could buy a whole archipelago of private islands with a billion as opposed to one or two with their millions, but it doesn’t seem right to betray Big George by selling.

  27. Jamey says:

    The scariest part about The Yankees being on the open market is it would generate A TON of interest from the Jay Z’s of the world who think it just be sweet to own The Yankees & “call the shots” raking in money. I could see a group like that getting in with a couple of super rich moguls hoping they can leach off the team to become Mark Cuban/Jerry Jones famous, disregarding the part of their personalities that genuinely care about running a successful business AND winning.

    I always liken these type of prospective owners to a time in high school when a friend of mine DESPERATELY wanted to buy a porsche that was for sale by owner. He drained his college savings “I’ll have scholarships & loans” & after a summer of working & insanely thrifty living he bought it. Then as he waited for girls to come flock to him he realized he had no money to take them out once they’re impressed with his car. Then he realized you can’t put cheap gas in it like he did with his crappy Chevy Cavalier, so that got expensive. Then he figured out that Porsches for sale relatively cheap MAYBE aren’t in the greatest of condition & found out how expensive a Porsche is to have maintained/repaired. The ultimate one though was when he finally realized that unlike your typical Porsche owner, he doesn’t have a winter car to get through those horrendous northeast winters, not to mention going back to said maintenance/repair that Porsches aren’t designed to handle winter wear & tear.

    Obviously the financial comparison isn’t the one I’m going for, but rather “the type of owner” one, you’re either a sports franchise owner or you’re not. I worry about 3 main types of “bad owners”:

    1. The Penny Pincher: They’re tight wad ways thrived at the empire they made their fortune with, but it can quickly turn you into that Starbucks guy that bought The Sonics real quick.

    2. The Celebrity Mogul: Being Jay-Z got Jay-Z very far in the entertainment industry, I’d be worried if he ever decides he wants to be more hands on. In the same vein, being Michael Jordan got Michael Jordan to the top as an NBA player. No one cares about your game winners & eyes closed free throws when you’re making terrible roster decisions year after year.

    3. The “I came into a lot of money FAST” owner: This one can either be Mark Cuban or take your pick from Frank Mccourt, Dan Snyder etc.

    Like I said, The Yankees would be a big glowing bug zapper to these moths since they’re the biggest property in sports. There’s certainly great prospective owners out there as well, but part of the reason they’d make great owners might be related to their unwillingness to match the overzealous bidding of their buffoonish counterparts.

    • pat says:

      Jay-Z owns like one point five percent of the Nets. He’s not calling the shots on anything except for flatware in the bunker suites.

      • Jamey says:

        Jay-Z is content with a very small stake in The Nets because ultimately he doesn’t really care about The Nets, he just wanted to be in the business. There’s no way he’d be part of an ownership group with The Yankees & be content just being a name.

    • Bo Knows says:

      I think if Jay Z got involved as a group with some other people, it actually might work. Jay is a NY native, grew up a die-hard Yankee fan, I think he would do right by the team. Part of what makes a good owner is a mix of business acumen, and either a personal connection to the area or a passion for winning.

      GMS had the passion in Spades, and hired good minded baseball people (whether he chose to listen to them or not fire them 30 times before lunch was a different matter)

      Now MJ is a different matter, he has shown that he has absolutely no talent in running a team in any form. He also doesn’t seem to have that personal connection that will make him want to make his team contenders.

      Now I believe there are far more bad potential owners than good ones, so I hope the team isn’t sold

  28. Midland TX says:

    When I saw “Bill Madden” I stopped reading.

  29. Fin says:

    I dont know if I believe the story. I definately believe the Stiens will sell the Yankees though. Since Hal confirmed the $189 number, I figured it was only a matter of time. I always figured they would sell after they got the budget under $189. Not only would the Stiens get a huge chunk of money, but the team would then look very appealing to potential buyers. Maybe, they have decided that getting under $189 with Tex, Arod and CC already under contract and Granderson, Swisher and Cano all coming up for new contracts that its just not going to happen and with the changing draft/IFA rules it will be impossible to keep winning. In the end maybe they think this is as valuable as the Yankees will get.

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