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12 April 2017, 03:27 | Simon Arnold
The New York Yankees are Major League Baseball's highest valued team for the 20th straight season according
The Philadelphia Phillies spent much of the early part of the 2016 MLB season scouting the country's best prospects, both high school and college, because they had "earned" the No. 1 pick in the summer's draft by having the worst record in the league the year before. In spite of that, the league's overall financial outlook looks promising.
According to the annual valuation rankings from Forbes, the average value of an Major League Baseball franchise jumped 19% in the past year thanks to local TV deals, rising profits and MLB's expanded focus on branching out with new technologies. All 30 teams share an equal percentage of ownership over the digital platform. The Boston Red Sox ($2.7 billion), the world champion Chicago Cubs ($2.675 billion), and San Francisco Giants ($2.65 billion) round out the top five. On the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the next most valuable franchise with a value of $2.75 billion. That was a record for an Major League Baseball franchise, which many considered to be a ridiculous price, but Forbes projects the team would be sold at a 180 percent increase if the Cubs hit the market today. In the past year, the franchise's value increased by 34 percent.
Of course, the Ricketts have a ways to go until they match the value increase the Steinbrenner family has seen in the Yankees. He bought the franchise for $10 million. It is the second-highest average value behind only the NFL.
Forbes reported Mike Ozanian notes that the Miami Marlins recently had a handshake deal to sell the franchise for $1.6 billion, although that deal fizzled.
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