Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner, COO Lonn Trost Blast Potential Sale Report As 'Fiction'
NEW YORK (WFAN) -- In 1973, George Steinbrenner made the investment of his life when he, along with a group of investors, purchased the Yankees from CBS for a reported $8.8 million. Nearly 40 years and seven World Series titles later, his family could be due to cash in.
The question is: have they even considered it?
After the Dodgers reached a selling price of just over $2 billion in late March, there was some chatter about how much the Bombers could be worth.
Forbes had New York valued atop its list last year at $1.7 billion, with Los Angeles ranked No. 3 at $800 million. Considering the markup, no wonder some estimated the Yankees could go for a whopping $3 billion.
1010 WINS' John Montone reports
The New York Daily News took the speculation one step further late Wednesday. The team "could be put on the block in the wake of the record sale" of the Dodgers, the paper reported, citing one source that said there's been "chatter" about a potential sale "for a couple weeks now."
Yankees COO Lonn Trost flatly denied the report Thursday morning on WFAN.
LISTEN: Trost with Boomer & Carton
(You can download the entire interview HERE.)
"Listen, there have been stories about the Yankees and what we do about every aspect of our existence. However, this one is an absolute fabrication," Trost told Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. "There is no merit to this story, there is no validity to the story.
"I'm sure that no one can find any evidence about this. There are no discussions, there have never been any discussions. In fact, the story should really be in the New York Times' schedule of fiction."
Daily News writer Bill Madden later called in to defend his story.
"We don't just talk to people on the street," an emphatic Madden told Boomer and Carton. "I talked to four or five extremely prominent, plugged-in baseball people."
MORE: Madden says sale buzz 'more than just rumors'
Trost wasn't the first front office member to push back. Team president Randy Levine told the Daily News there's "absolutely, positively nothing to this." Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, George Steinbrenner's son, also denied the rumors.
"I just learned of the Daily News story," he said in a statement. "It is pure fiction. The Yankees are not for sale. I expect that the Yankees will be in my family for many years to come."
MLB issued its own statement Thursday afternoon: "Major League Baseball has received no indications from any representatives of the New York Yankees or anyone else that the Club is for sale."
The Yankees... the Bronx... New York without the Steinbrenner family? Might it happen?
Well, for starters, they could be looking at around a $2.99 billion return on the initial 1973 investment. A glory-days squad on the decline and an increasingly competitive AL East could also hurt the team's future value. One source told the Daily News: "It would definitely be the right time for the family to sell."
"We're aghast at such a story," Trost told Boomer and Carton.
The paper painted Hal as a man who doesn't seem to share his father's passion for baseball. He "rarely attends games" and "abhors doling out the huge money long-term contracts," the Daily News reported.
"I also read that he's not here much," Trost said of Hal. "He's here every single week. He's here every single week."
In a separate article, the Daily News listed Mark Cuban, Charles Dolan, David Einhorn, and the team of Rick Caruso and Joe Torre as possible bidders for the franchise.
"We're reading fiction on the front and back page of the newspaper," said Trost.
Yankees fans, could you imagine your team without the Steinbrenners? Be heard in the comments below...
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