MLB Team Valuations Still Rise in 2020 Despite Lockdown


Even in the midst of a devastating lockdown throughout the sports universe, almost every Major League Baseball team has seen an increase of value in 2020.

According to Forbes' 2020 team valuations, released this week, the average MLB team rose 4% in value from last season. It's noted that this is the lowest total increase since 2010, but represents the end of a massive increase over the past decade for the league as a whole.

Topping the list are the Yankees, valued at $5 billion, which is more than $1.5 billion the value of the second team on the list, the Dodgers ($3.4 billion). The Yankees enjoyed a 9% increase in total value, which also paced the league, tying the Nationals and the Orioles for the teams that experienced the largest growth increase from the 2019 season. The remaining three teams in the top five are the Red Sox ($3.3 billion), the Cubs ($3.2 billion) and the Giants ($3.1 billion).

Most teams saw some sort of increase in value, but some times experienced no growth. Three of those teams -- the Indians, the Tigers and the Royals -- came from the AL Central. Only two organizations, the Pirates (-1%) and the Marlins (-2%), saw their overall value go down. The Marlins were additionally the only team to have a negative overall operating income, losing $5.9 million throughout the year. Miami is the only team worth less than $1 billion, coming in at $980 million.

The full list of team valuations can be seen here.

Forbes writers Mike Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen state that in the case of a shortened season, a scenario for which MLB is hopeful, the league could still collect the bulk of its revenue even if the season is 100 games long instead of the usual 162. However, that might be an optimistic view.

They also note that, taking into account the possibility that far fewer games are played, that games are played in empty ballparks and the hundreds of other factors and possibilities that could come out of this unprecedented pandemic, it's an especially difficult time to project the financial success -- or woes -- of clubs around the league.

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