For, well forever, I've heard the same argument about why people hate the Yankees: "They buy all their players."
Sooo many people have said that to me. They always say that the Yanks always buy their players and that other teams can't keep up. And they are wrong to hate the Yanks for that. Here's why.
George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973 for a grand total of $10mm dollars. In other words, he bought the entire team for less than half of Derek Jeter's salary. Sure there is inflation and whatnot, but still, a relatively miniscule amount. The organization is now worth $1.306 billion according to Cot's. Let me put it this way. Unless the Steinbrenners somehow lose $1.296 billion dollars they will have made a profit off the team. Thus, almost no matter how much money the Yanks spend, they earned the right to spend that money.
George was the man who made free agency what it is today. He offered multi million dollar contracts to free agents which led to the great salaries players recieve, as well as the improved economic state of baseball since the 70's. Although ballgames are more expensive to attend, ballparks are nicer, TV stations have better coverage, the game has greater attendance. Basically, through George's willingness to spend to win the game has been helped a lot. So, saying that the Yankees' spending is bad is ridiculous.
Through the merchandising agreements in baseball, the income from all attire items not sold at the stadium comes into a pool, which all teams get paid from equally. The Yankees sell more attire than any other team. So, they make money for the other teams.
Through the collective bargaining agreement, a luxury tax has been put in place for going over a certain payroll, with higher punishments for repeat offenses. The Yankees have paid $148.3mm in the six years of the luxury tax. That's almost $150mm that the Yankees have given to baseball to give to other teams. Again, the Yankees' spending helps other teams.
Teams say that it is unfair that the Yankees' can spend so much on their payroll. However, how many of those teams wish the Yanks had let them sign Jason Giambi for 7 years, or Carl Pavano for 4, or Kei Igawa for 4 years along with a a $26mm posting fee? When the Yankees mess up and sign guys that don't pan out to be as good as projected, other teams don't complain, because it only means the Yanks wasted a roster spot, money on the player, and money in revenue sharing while the other team got to keep that spot and that money. Teams no are going to complain about the Yanks signing Burnett, Sabathia, and Texeira, but if those guys falter(knock on wood) those teams won't complain anymore.
People who say the Yanks buy all their players usually are speechless for a minute when my first response is just a list: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Chien Ming Wang, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte (originally), Joba Chamberlain. Then they'll say, "well the Yankees paid money to keep all those guys." And I'll reply, Joba, Wang, and Cano are all worth more than they are paid. We almost let Pettitte go because he wasn't worth the money he wanted, but have always told him he is welcome as a Yank because he is a classy guy, and the Yanks are a classy organization. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada are Yankee legends in my mind. The Yanks may have overspent for them, but they did so because they can, and they needed too. Those three guys are full of strong character, strong morales, strong work ethic, and strong mindsets. They are all very talented and bring more than just skills to the field. The Yankees paid for these guys because they felt they owed them, because it was the right baseball decision, and because the Yankees are an organization of respect and they respect players that deserve it. Sure, at some point loyalty falls out for smart baseball (see Joe Torre and Bernie Williams departures), but for the most part the Yanks take care of their own.
It may seem ridiculous that the Yanks spend so much money, and small market teams can complain all they want, but in the end, the Yanks aren't the only ones who can spend. The Nats' owner, Ted Lerner, is a billionaire and could certainly buy himself some better players, or pay to improve his farm system, but he hasn't done anything of remarkable proportions. Arte Moreno and John Henry, the owners of the Angels and Red Sox, can and have spent, and could most definitely spend more while truning a profit. The Marlins are penny pinchers, who make a huge profit every year, they could easily compete if their owners were more willing to pay their players the money they deserve.
According to Forbes, during the 06 season the Yankees made a net profit of negative $25.2mm dollars. Yes, that means they lost money and they were the only team to do so. You complainers about the small market teams have to stop, because the Marlins made $43.3mm, the Rays made $20.2mm, the Pirates made $25.3mm, the A's made $14.5mm, even the Royals made $8.4mm. So basically, the Yanks are willing to lose significant money in order to please their fans and to win, while other teams are more concerned about their owners' pockets.
Basically, it seems like the Yankees spend money that they have earned, have vastly improved the value of their franchise, and improved the game of baseball, treat their players with respect and do whatever it takes to win. If you want to hate on us, go ahead, but seems to me like the Yanks are doing everything right.