The Yankees, at $ 5 billion, tops Forbes’ list of the most valuable MLB teams for 2020; Red Sox, Cubs in the top five


There is no baseball at this time because of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, which means we’re dealing with events off the ground. One such notable event that happens every year is the release of Forbes’ MLB franchise ratings, and Thursday saw the release of the 2020 version.

The vast majority of MLB franchises are private, which means they have no obligation to disclose their financial data to the public. When the owners make public comments on the financial situation of their teams, it is usually to simulate impoverishment for one reason or another. The reality is that teams are almost always very profitable year after year, and their owners are sure to make huge gains on their original investments when they sell.

Although Forbes does not work with publicly available data, they have become very good at “reverse engineering” the financial situation of each club. If nothing else, the Forbes estimates are much closer to the truth than anything you will hear from the teams themselves.

As for the 2020 version, the Yankees remain the most valuable team in all of MLB, with a valuation of $ 5 billion (among sports franchises, only the Dallas Cowboys post a higher figure). Here’s a look at the five most valuable MLB franchises, according to these Forbes estimates:

The Yankees have surpassed this list of MLB franchise values ​​every year since 1998, when Forbes started doing so. Note that the Red Sox and Cubs, who refused to invest in the product during the offseason despite lists of contention sizes, rank near the top. Now a few more comments on the 2020 edition of Forbes’ estimates:

  • In total, 29 of the 30 MLB franchises are valued at $ 1 billion or more. The only exception is the Marlins, which Forbes estimates at $ 980 million.
  • Only two teams – the Pirates and the Marlins – have seen their ratings decrease since 2019.
  • Five teams – the Diamondbacks, the Tigers, the Indians, Athletics, the Royals – saw their ratings remain roughly the same as last year.
  • The other 23 teams saw their estimated assessments increase. The Yankees, Nationals and Orioles saw the largest percentage increase.
  • In terms of operating profit – basically profitability – the Astros led the way with $ 99 million in revenue last year.
  • In total, 29 of the 30 teams were profitable, according to Forbes estimates. The Marlins are the exception with an operating profit estimated at – $ 5.9 million.

Obviously, the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and the reality that it will not generate income close to standard levels will affect these estimates next time. For now, however, MLB remains an extremely healthy and extremely profitable industry, both globally and at the individual franchise level.

As for the Forbes piece, there is much more, including detailed information about each team. Be sure to give it a look.


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