Yankees named MLB's most valuable franchiseIt's the 20th straight year that Forbes' valuations put the Bombers at No. 1
For the twentieth year in a row, the New York Yankees are baseball's most valuable franchise.
According to the latest Forbes MLB value rankings, the Bronx Bombers' impressive revenue totals help keep them in the top spot, but the league's other 29 clubs have seen a major boost in value overall.
Per Forbes' estimations, the average MLB team in 2017 is valued at $1.537 billion, trailing only the powerhouse NFL ($2.388 billion) in terms of highest average value per team among the major sports leagues worldwide.
"This is the twentieth rendition of our MLB valuations and the same number of times the New York Yankees have been baseball's most valuable team ($3.7 billion)," Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com and Forbes SportsMoney wrote. "Short explanation: They generate the most revenue ($526 million)."
Major League Baseball overall has seen a boost in value thanks to new television broadcasting deals and the success of MLB Advanced Media, which has led to an increase in average payroll amounts across the league.
From 2016 to 2017, average opening day payrolls were up 4.7%, with 22 of the game's 30 clubs experiencing a spike entering this season.
The Yankees, however, are not one such team, despite their reputation for being one of the sport's most free-spending clubs over the years. The Yankees front office has instead been very diligent in paring back expensive contracts, many of which were awarded to veterans who have since retired or landed elsewhere via trades.
From 2016 to 2017, the Yankees' payroll decreased 13.3%, the second-largest dip of any club in the majors other than the floundering Padres, whose $34.6 million opening day payroll significantly undercut the next-lowest team, the Brewers, at $61.0 million.
Even as the Yankees maintain their top spot as baseball's most valuable franchise, they're a team heading towards the alluring 2018-19 free agency class with increasing financial flexibility, which will only help to hasten their return toward fielding one of the most talented teams in baseball.
With the potential looming sale of the Miami Marlins (possibly to former Yankee Derek Jeter no less), it appears that there's no better time to get into the baseball ownership business than right now.
"Exactly how good of an investment is baseball? On paper, terrific," Ozanian wrote. "The average team value has increased at a compound annual rate of 11.5% since our first valuations in 1998. In contrast, the stock market has gone up 3.5% annually."
The Yankees' on-field success remains the benchmark for baseball greatness with 27 World Series championships to their credit, and as the team continues to trim payroll while maintaining its financial might, the future is very bright for a young team on the rise.