The striker, who hit 34 goals last season, was transfer-listed on Tuesday as he has only one year remaining on his existing deal.
"I'm both surprised and disappointed," Bates told Yorkshire Radio. "Eighteen months ago we gave both him and Tresor Kandol extended contracts without being asked in recognition of their service, and that put their money up quite considerably.
"We thought we would wait to see where we ended up this season before making him a new offer. There is no way we can justify meeting the demands and apart from which we can't afford it.
"It's disappointing but these things happen. I'll be very surprised, wherever he goes, if he gets the same support and back-up from the backroom staff as he's had here.
"Money isn't everything in life and Jermaine may want to consider how happy he would be away from Yorkshire, but that's his decision - and that of his agent who is hopefully giving him advice in the best interests of Jermaine rater than just a fee-making exercise."