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Forbes Releases Annual Baseball Team Values

Get money get paid, y’all

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Forbes published their annual list ranking the MLB teams by their estimated value. They have a web article on it with lots of fancy charts and graphs that you’ll want to check out if you’re a nerd (or economics student) like me. They look into the factors that go into a team’s value, how the average values have grown from year to year, and list the teams by value. If you want to go more in-depth, I highly recommend visiting the link, but we’ll hit some major points here.

  • Mad, Mad, Media Money

Television and streaming deals are a big part of the MLB’s value. A new deal with Fox that kicks in after 2021 is worth more than 50% of the current deal, and renewals with TBS and ESPN are expected to grow similarly. Furthermore, MLB is expanding their deals with streaming services, and will gain value as these deals come into effect.

  • Income Along

The 30 teams generated record average operating income this year, by Forbes’ count. Income grew by a massive 38% from 2017 to 2018, although the players’ cut stayed about the same. This is due partially to the emphasis teams are putting on staying under the luxury tax as well as the emphasis on young (read: cheap) talent in the analytics era. [Insert cheap Pohlads complaint here]

  • Bill List

According to the list, it appears there are three distinct tiers of value. The Yankees are far and away the most valuable franchise. However, the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants are in the same tier (as being far ahead of the rest of the pack). The second tier is comprised of the Mets and Cardinals, and then there’s no significant jumps in value among the rest of the teams.

The Twins come in at number 23 on the list, just ahead of the Brewers and just behind the Rockies. The Royals and Indians are both below the Twins, and the bottom two spots are occupied by the league’s Floridian teams. The Twins number value is $1.2 billion, in case any of you have some change lying around. I’d have to say this number seems quite low, considering that Willians Astudillo is worth about $1.5 billion alone, but I suppose that won’t be reflected until next year’s list.


What would you do with $1.2 billion dollars?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Buy the Twins
    (223 votes)
  • 25%
    Eat caviar and drive Ferrari’s
    (124 votes)
  • 28%
    Give it all to Astudillo
    (135 votes)
482 votes total Vote Now