Aaron Judge

Yankees Make Players Pay for In-Flight Wifi Despite Being a $6 Billion Franchise, Charging $9 Out of Pocket

The New York Yankees are the most valuable Major League Baseball franchise, according to Forbes, with an estimated worth of $6 billion. However, the team does not provide its players with complimentary Wi-Fi on their flights, according to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein. While players like right fielder Aaron Judge, who is a spokesperson for T-Mobile, have access to free Wi-Fi on Delta flights, the majority of his teammates are forced to pay the $9 fee.

The Yankees charter with Delta, which offers Wi-Fi at a cost of $9 per device. As per Apstein’s report, covering the entire team’s Wi-Fi expenses for a year would cost the Yankees about $40,000. While Judge’s $360 million contract for the current season means that he doesn’t need to worry about the cost, his teammates have to pay every time they fly.

Team Principle vs. Cost

For players who refuse to pay, it is a matter of principle. According to the SI report, only one other MLB franchise, the Cincinnati Reds, doesn’t provide free in-flight Wi-Fi to its players. While General Manager Brian Cashman believes that most players can afford to pay for the service, some players, like reliever Lou Trivino, won’t pay on principle, comparing the situation to Zack Greinke’s refusal to pay an extra 25 cents for guacamole.

Further, Judge could potentially cover the entire team’s Wi-Fi expenses with a small fraction of his contract. Alternatively, he could connect his teammates with T-Mobile, and provide them with free Wi-Fi access.