GLENDALE, Ariz. -- So far the Dodgers this week have come to agreements with a pair of Cuban free agents - pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez and infielder Hector Olivera - with a price tag of over $70 million in total. But such is life for a team worth a reported $2.4 billion.
That's what the MLB vaulation team at Forbes has pegged as the franchise value in its annual look at baseball finances.
MLB teams average $1.2 billion in value per Forbes rankings, a whopping 48-percent increase over 2014, with the key driver of the growth new television contracts, per Mike Ozanian:
Television money is driving the sport’s top line growth. In 2014, broadcasting and cable money accounted for $2.88 billion, or 37% of baseball’s $7.86 billion of revenue. Just five years earlier, television proceeds were $1.73 billion, or 29% of the sport’s $5.91 billion of revenue. During the past five years, mega cable deals for the Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have kicked in, and last season MLB began new national broadcasting deals with ESPN, Fox and TBS that will pay a total of $12.4 billion over eight years–more than double the previous contracts.
The Dodgers led baseball with $120 million in TV revenue, per Forbes, in the first year of their 25-year contract with SportsNet LA. The Dodgers' $2.4 billion valuation represented a 20-percent increase over 2014, and was more than the eye-popping $2.15 billion purchase price when Guggenheim Partners purchased the team in 2012.
The Dodgers' total revenue per Forbes was $403 million in 2014, second only to the Yankees at $508 million. The Yankees are the only team ranked ahead of the Dodgers in franchise value, at $3.2 mbillion.
The Red Sox ranked third in value at $2.1 billion, with the rival Giants, winners of three World Series titles in the last five years, coming in fourth at $2 billion, though a staggering 100-percent increase over 2014.
For what it's worth, even with the $403 million in revenue in 2014, the Forbes numbers show the Dodgers operated at a loss of $12.2 million, one of only five teams in the red. But with over $262 million committed in 2015 before the Cuban signings this week, the Dodgers haven't shown any restraint in spending.