Before we all get too excited with the headline, this all seems a little too much like speculation to me. Jeff Passan over at Yahoo Sports has some quotes from Yankees sources and people close to the club, and it seems that those anonymous voices are all in agreement that the team will not reach their planned $189 million budget for the 2014 season.
"They're going to be over 189," one source said. "They know it. Everyone knows it. You can't run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars."
This matches another report by ESPN New York from late-February, which stated that Hal Steinbrenner had grown tired of the public scrutiny, and that the Yankees were willing to abandon the budget and re-sign Robinson Cano to prove their dedication to the fans. Of course this never happened, and we've actually heard more rumors since, from both ownership and the General Manager, about how they plan to stick to the $189 million outline.
The premise behind much of Passan's piece comes from the premise that the overall expected savings amount will be minuscule in comparison to the Yankees' net profits, and the amount they believed to be saving has also dropped from what was previously estimated.
"The assumptions on the market-disqualification rebate haven't held," one American League executive said. "The pool is going to be much less than everyone anticipated."
Maybe the Yankees have gotten close to a deal with Cano, and they want to announce their breaking budget with big fanfare. Maybe the empty seats this season have convinced the organization that it's not just Stub Hub causing New Yorkers to pass on the high-priced seats this year. Maybe they realized that the team they put on the field is not championship caliber.
There are a ton of reasons for the Yankees to scrap their budget plans, but that doesn't mean we should believe it. Passan's piece consists of three quotes from anonymous sources, and although he's a respectable national baseball writer, I've learned that you have to stay mindful when sports writers use this type of speculative reporting.
With that said, his final quote probably holds the most truth to it, since I think we can all agree that the budget hardly looked realistic from the start.
"It was a good idea to try," one Yankees official said. "But deep down, we all pretty much knew it wasn't going to happen."