Player agent torches Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner for treating team like ‘Broadway show’

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner
Dec 11, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner during the winter meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the biggest teams in Major League Baseball sat quietly while fear of the lockout churned out massive contracts at the end of November. The New York Yankees were one of the few teams to sit still and wait until after lockout when a new luxury tax threshold would be set. With the monstrous amount of revenue the Yankees earn every year, they spend just a small portion of that on players, which may be to the surprise of some considering the big contracts they have on file.

However, the Yankees failed to spend before the locket, especially with several suitable options on the market. While talented free agents will be available in the spring, they will have to come out guns blazing once the lockout finishes.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner has been accused of failing to spend some of his big bucks, forcing general manager Brian Cashman to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold, despite a lack of starting pitching and failure to develop homegrown talent.

According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, one player agent compared Steinbrenner’s strategy to a broadway show:

“Hal operates the Yankees like a top Broadway show,” the agent said. “They charge top ticket prices and put the biggest and best stars on the stage. With that said, the show’s primary purpose is to turn a significant profit. If the Broadway show happens to win a Tony for Best Show, all the better.”

This is a perfect analogy to use when looking at Steinbrenner, who uses a small percentage of his money on players while pocketing the rest. He put some of the biggest stars on his stage to attract viewers and consumers, but it is more of a business model than a plan to win. The team always lacks significant talent at specific positions, and the team overspends on singular players instead of finding multiple guys who serve a designed purpose.

Just look at Giancarlo Stanton for example, the Yankees consumed his contract when they could’ve spread that money around to three different quality players. They took a massive risk, and while Stanton was solid during the 2020–21 campaign, he has struggled with injury issues the past few seasons.

The Yankees will likely spend coming out of the lockout. History tells us they will go after the biggest name to draw consumers back to the market. Fans are already angry at baseball and may find different outlets for their source of entertainment, so Steinbrenner will try to draw them back in with another big name, and it will work.