There’s a story over at The Daily Beast that tells the often-told tale about how the Dolan family (i.e. owners of Cablevision and the Knicks) want to buy the Yankees. The reason to re-hash it this time, obviously, is George Steinbrenner’s death. From the article:
Now speculation is beginning to mount among sources close to the Dolans
that Steinbrenner’s death will serve as a “catalyst”–to use Wall Street
vernacular for a triggering event–for them to eventually make another
offer to buy the greatest franchise in sports.
Sure, I can see bringing it up again because a big event just happened that could cause people to re-think, change course, or whatever. But there’s really no there there. There’s no new information which suggests any change of heart on the part of Yankees’ ownership with respect to a sale. What’s more, Yankees’ President Randy Levine is shooting the story down this morning:
“The reporter was told that neither the Yankees nor YES, are, will be or
have have been for sale. This is all fantasy. It’s just as likely that
we would buy the Knicks or Rangers.”
Levine can be full of it sometimes, but this makes abundant sense to me. Sure, George Steinbrenner just died, but whatever the titles say, George Steinbrenner hasn’t been running the Yankees for several years now. There’s been a lot of talk about how the Steinbrenner family is getting out of having to pay estate taxes because of the timing of his death, but they didn’t know when he was going to die. As such, if there was ever an intention of selling the team, wouldn’t it have made sense for it to go into a trust or be sold before Steinbrenner’s death to avoid even the potential for a big tax bill?
Thanks to the new stadium revenues are at an all-time high. Hal Steinbrenner has shown himself to be even more adept at running the Yankees than his father was. I’ll eat my hat if he sells the team to the Dolans in the next decade.
Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.
While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.
Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”
Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.
If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.