The rest of baseball, on the other hand, is left scrambling for hot stove holiday leftovers. Which begs the questions: what makes the Yankees' business model so different from the entirety of baseball that they alone are capable of such monumental signings?
Why does the concept of investing in a business to see a robust return only seem to be the theology of this team, and this team alone?
The Red Sox, Mets, and Tigers — to name a few — are teams (with the possible exception of Detroit this season, due to the state's economic condition) that easily have the resources to match the Yankees' investment in their own ball clubs. Just last year the Tigers spent wildly — but not wisely — on their own high profile players, and yet they found themselves in the cellar of the AL Central. The Mets' have doled out large sums of cash season after season to players like Delgado and Pedro and still the post season eludes them.
And yet here we are, in an off season where the quality of the market is unusually exceptional — especially for pitching — and the Yankees are the lone franchise able to cash in. It is a testament to financial intelligence over simple financial abundance but it also shows that these teams, who have sat idly by, are capable of being competitive for these players if they so choose.
People can scream and moan about salary caps and luxury taxes all they want but reality dictates that their will be no equality in baseball until the other multi-millionaires and corporations that own franchises in baseball commit to investing in the product they are selling to the public. It should be obvious that people are not going to pay good money to see bad baseball.
If teams want to reach Yankee-like attendance figures and expand the platforms by which their teams are exposed (i.e. the Yankees YES Network) they must first make an initial investment to generate the revenue necessary for sure ventures. It is Business 101. If a full investment in a team is not sufficient to generate enough return revenue from a city to support its team than the possibility that baseball should not be played in that city must be examined. While this may be the case in some markets, even the Royals and Brewers drew hordes of fans when they were competitive throughout the late '70s and early '80s. The results would be shocking to those disciples of baseball socialism if mass investment ever became a reality.