The Yankees quiet restraint in the free agent market this off-season has been quite a curiosity. We may now have an answer as to why.
According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees lost between $50 million and $85 million for the 2005 season.
The paper reveals that despite drawing more than four million fans, an inflated payroll of $200 million plus an additional $110 million in revenue sharing and luxury taxes has put the Yankees in the red.
"Yes, even George has his limits," one source told the Daily News.
The paper also reports that the Yankees might go further into debt if an MLB consultant determines that the team undervalued their television rights.
The Yankees currently charge the YES Network about $60 million for annual broadcast rights, but if it's found to be undervalued, the Yankees will have to make up the difference by putting more money into the revenue-sharing fund.
The exact numbers won't be known for a few months, but it's believed that the figure will amount to roughly $80 million when the final tally is added up.
"They're going to owe us money," one MLB source predicted to the paper.
This isn't the first time that Steinbrenner and co. have run into a deficit. According to Forbes magazine, the Yankees also lost $37.1 million in 2004.