As we find out today how long this aberration of a season is going to be because neither side was willing to budge one inch in negotiations to bring back baseball for anything resembling a real schedule, it’s interesting to see that last year I wrote about how flush with cash teams are, and how much more flush with cash they will be in their next TV deal. Yet, they claim they aren’t. And this is the crux of why there will be very little baseball the next few seasons.
WHAT THE RANGERS ARE WORTH.
There’s a reason why baseball players demand so much money. Baseball teams have it. Boatloads of it.
For the first time ever, according to Forbes, all thirty teams are worth more than one billion dollars. In fact, the average team is worth almost double that—$1.75 billion.
In the twenty-two years that Forbes has been tracking the value of sports franchises, the average Major League Baseball franchise has increased in value eleven percent a year, just slightly slower than the twelve percent a year of an NFL team and thirteen percent a year of an NBA team.
They even made up this fancy chart:
Nine years ago, Ray Davis and Bob Simpson led the group that bought the Rangers for $539 million. Today, it’s valued at $1.7 billion. That’s an increase of 315 percent.
In 2011, the Rangers payroll was $122 million. (I didn’t use the year they bought the team because the 2010 payroll was artificially held down while the club was in bankruptcy proceedings.) This year, it’s $162 million. That’s an increase of 32 percent.
Value rises 315 percent. Payroll rises 32 percent.
And that, in one precise nutshell, is exactly why players ask for what they ask for.
No, I am not advocating teams throw money around like drunken sailors on shore leave.
But I am saying, as I have said countless times in the past, the Rangers have the money. It’s absolutely their right on how much or little of it to spend, and on whom.
It’s also absolutely the right of fans to choose not to so show up to watch a team that doesn’t have, say, Manny Machado or Dallas Keuchel instead of Jeff Mathis and Shelby Miller.
Oh, in 2022, a $5.1 billion TV deal kicks in with FOX Sports. That will increase each team’s worth quite a bit more.
Excuse me while I head back to my $105 seat with my $14 beer and $9 nachos to watch the game.