The New York Yankees are the most valuable Major League Baseball franchise for the 15th consecutive year, according to Forbes’ annual report. Since 1998, when Forbes began valuing MLB teams, the Yankees have always been worth the most money for numerous reasons, including on-field success as well as television and stadium deals. That holds true once again, as the Bronx Bombers franchise is valued at approximately $1.85 billion.
Overall, Forbes’ report shows that the average value of an MLB team has risen about 16 percent since last year, giving the league an average of roughly $605 million in total.
Impressive, although even more impressive is the fact that the Yankees come in at over three times the average.
The Los Angeles Dodgers checked in as the second most valuable franchise in the league at $1.4 billion, which is an increase of 75 percent of what the team was valued at last year throughout the messy divorce between their owners, Frank and Jaime McCourt. The team is expected to be sold within the next couple of months.
Rounding out the top five teams were the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively. Of the top five, only the Yankees and Phillies reached the postseason last year.
Only two teams in the league did not see an increase in value – the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays. While losing four percent of the team’s value from last year, the Mets still managed to rank sixth on the list at $719 million. The legal woes and debt problems lowered the Mets’ overall value. I’m not exactly sure what the Rays chalk up their losses to, although one can certainly point to an embarrassing low attendance despite the fact that the team puts out a winning product, even with a low payroll.