Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New York, New York

The Indians Thursday will help the Yankees open their modest little new ballpark in the Bronx. It will be CC Sabathia vs. Cliff Lee. After producing just one Cy Young Award winner in the first 50 years of the award, the Indians have now produced the last two. Of course, only one of them still currently works for the Indians. The other used his Cy Young Award as a trampoline to a seven-year $161 million contract that he signed as a free agent with the Yankees.

Let's think about that for a second. Let's say Sabathia stays with the Yankees for the entire seven years of his contract, and averages a normal starting pitcher's yearly workload, which is about 32 starts. Over those seven years the Yankees will play 1,134 regular season games. Sabathia, if he stays healthy, will start 224 of them. So in other words, the Yankees over the next seven years will pay Sabathia $161 million, even though he will not appear at all in 910 of the games the Yankees will play over the course of his contract. Talk about nice work, if you can get it.

It's good to be the Yankees. And it's good to be a Yankee. It's also not so bad to own the Yankees. In 1973 George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for $10 million. In 2008 Forbes Magazine estimated the team's value at $1.3 billion.

Imagine what the Yankees would be worth if they had a mascot?


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