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Forbes’ annual team valuations are out … for what they’re worth

Mar 27, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

Money Bag

This comes out every year: Forbes’ team valuations and the breakdown of who’s making money, who’s losing money and all that jazz.

You’ll not be surprised to see that the Yankees are the most valuable, the Rays the least. Still, the Rays’ value increased from year-to-year by 40% and they cleared $10 million.  Owning a baseball team is like printing money, really.

For most teams anyway. Forbes claims that six teams in baseball lost money last year: the Angels, Rangers, Marlins, Blue Jays, Mets and Tigers. Of course all those numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt given what we know about the books of Major League Baseball teams: virtually nothing. And we know that many teams pay their owners various fess and things for amorphous reasons and unknown tasks, all of which negatively impacts the team’s bottom line while clearly not harming the owners a bit.  Ask Jeff Loria how that works.

It’s a nice snapshot, but not much more. There just isn’t enough data out there for anyone to check these numbers and the only people in a position to correct them — the owners themselves — wouldn’t dare reveal what they really make or lose.

  1. mrfloydpink - Mar 27, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    These Forbes valuations are borderline worthless. EVERY time a team sells, it’s for considerably more than Forbes claims they are worth.

    • evanwins - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Read the article, it explains it all.

      The business aspect of baseball has always interested me and I found the article really informative.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:42 AM

      as long as the Yankees are on top that is all that matters.

    • packer42390 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      Most businesses sell for more than they are valued. The reason you purchase a business is because you expect it to deliver more value in the future than what it currently has. You have to pay a premium for that. It is the reason many companies have an account called goodwill on their books.

  2. stex52 - Mar 27, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Interesting from a local perspective because Jim Crane has been justifying the team payroll based on the Astros losing money for “each of the last five years.”

    Of course no one believes him.

  3. rbj1 - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Of course, now that the Biogenesis “scandal” is out, every team’s value has fallen. . . by 11 cents.

  4. ccraig232 - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    A franchise as historic as the Cardinals, they always seem low on these type of lists.

    • carbydrash - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      10th is low?

  5. sometimesimisscandlestick - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Giants at 786 million. I remember when Bob Lurie purchased the team in ’76 for that humongous price of 8 million.

  6. chill1184 - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I feel that this article should get a read when it comes to team values

    http://freemarketsports.com/2013/02/04/the-phoenix-coyotes-and-the-myth-of-franchise-values/

  7. snowbirdgothic - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Forbes is pretty much the free marketeer’s HuffPo. I’ll take “wild assertions that drive clicks” for $300, Alex.

  8. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    the bluejays should be worth the most, just ask proudly, he knows!! He talks to AA everyday!

    • pauleee - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      This is my first dirtyharry sighting of the season. What do you know? A slap at the Blue Jays. Why the unnatural hatred?

      • stex52 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        dirty harry / unnatural. You pretty much just captured it.

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