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No surprise: Yankees are most valuable MLB franchise

Hal Steinbrenner's Yankees are more than $1 billion more valuable than any other franchise in baseball. (Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

Hal Steinbrenner's Yankees  are worth more than $1 billion more than the next most valuable franchise in baseball. (Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

The Yankees are worth $3.3 billion, according to a Bloomberg report, easily making them the most valuable franchise in baseball. The Dodgers are second at $2.1 billion.

“Major League Baseball is catching up to valuations of the National Football League,” said Anthony Di Santi, the managing director of the sports finance advisory division of Citigroup’s private bank, at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit on Sept. 10. “It’s because they’ve been exploiting the media opportunities that are available to them on a national level.”

While the top MLB teams rank comparably to the top NFL clubs, according to this Forbes report, only 10 of the 30 MLB teams are worth more than $1 billion, while the average NFL franchise is valued at $1.17 billion.

But MLB teams are cashing in on lucrative cable TV deals, as 14 have a stake in regional sports networks, including nine of the 10 valued at more than $1 billion. The Mets' 65 percent stake in SportsNet New York has the largest valuation of any team at $1.2 billion.

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The Tampa Bay Rays, at $530 million, are the least valuable team in the league. But money doesn't always buy wins; only two of the 10 most valuable franchises made this year's playoffs.

Here's the top 10:

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1. New York Yankees $3.3 billion

2. Los Angeles Dodgers $2.1 billion

3. Boston Red Sox $2.06 billion

4. New York Mets $2.05 billion

5. Chicago Cubs $1.32 billion

6. San Francisco Giants $1.23 billion

7. Baltimore Orioles $1.12 billion

8. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim $1.09 billion

9. Philadelphia Phillies $1.04 billion