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Forbes ranks Yankees as most valuable MLB franchise

Unsurprisingly, the Yankees have been named the MLB's most valuable franchise again. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, the New York Yankees have been named the MLB's most valuable franchise again. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

For the 17th consecutive year, Forbes has named the New York Yankees as the most valuable MLB franchise, worth an estimated $2.5 billion, according to Mike Ozanian.

The Yankees aren't only the most valuable franchise in the MLB, they're a clear front-runner, with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming in second at $2 billion and the Boston Red Sox in third at $1.5 billion. The least valuable franchise this year is the Tampa Bay Rays, coming in last at $485 million. From Forbes' report:

The New York Yankees, worth $2.5 billion, are baseball’s most valuable team, as they have been each of the 17 years Forbes has compiled this scorecard. The only other U.S. sports team worth more than $2 billion is the Dallas Cowboys ($2.3 billion) of the NFL. Including the annual average of the $400 million upfront payment the team got for agreeing to sell its controlling stake in the YES Network (full disclosure: I am co-host of the RSN’s Forbes SportsMoney show) to News Corp (now 21st Century Fox), the team raked in over $100 million in cable money last season, by far the most in baseball.

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The Yankees' 2013 revenue was $461 million, and the team's 2013 operating loss was $9.1 million. Cable money is increasing franchise value at a greater rate than franchise revenue.

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Lucrative television deals are bringing in big money for both teams and individual players, according to the report:

The players are also cashing in on baseball’s gusher of television money. On opening day, the average salary is projected to be between $3.95 million and $4 million, with the final figure depending on how many players are put on the disabled list by the time opening-day rosters are finalized at 3 p.m. Sunday. That translates to a rise of 8% to 10% from last year’s opening average of $3.65 million, and would be the largest increase since 2006, or possibly even 2001.

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