The Mariners are worth $710 million, according to the annual report by Forbes magazine that crunches numbers to determine the value of all Major League franchises.
That represents a 10-percent increase over last year and ranks 12th among baseball’s 30 clubs. The New York Yankees lead the list at $2.5 billion, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at $2 billion.
The Tampa Bay Rays ranked last at $485 million.
Major League Baseball has long disputed the Forbes calculations, which the magazine contends is the “value of team based on current stadium deal (unless new stadium is pending), without deduction for debt (other than stadium debt).”
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Forbes praised the Mariners’ acquisition of controlling interest in Root Sports.
“In April 2013, the Mariners bought a controlling stake in the Root Sports Northwest television network, which broadcasts the team's games as well as many other regional sports events.
“The crux of the deal is that Root Sports will televise Mariners baseball through the 2030 season, and the team now owns 71 percent of Root Sports Northwest RSN and DirecTV owns 29 percent and will continue to oversee its operations.
“Beginning with the with the 2014 season the rights fee for Mariners will average $103 million over 18 years with the total value of the deal, including the team’s equity stake, worth an estimated $2.5 billion.
“No wonder the Mariners made the biggest free agent splash of the offseason by inking second baseman Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million deal.”
Forbes' 2104 franchise valuations
1. New York Yankees: $2.5 billion
2. Los Angeles Dodgers: $2 billion
3. Boston Red Sox: $1.5 billion
4. Chicago Cubs: $1.2 billion
5. San Francisco Giants: $1 billion
6. Philadelphia Phillies: $975 million
7. Texas Rangers: $825 million
8. St. Louis Cardinals: $820 million
9. New York Mets: $800 million
10. Los Angeles Angels: $775 million
11. Atlanta Braves: $730 million
12. Seattle Mariners: $710 million
13. Washington Nationals: $700 million
14. Chicago White Sox: $695 million
15. Detroit Tigers: $680 million
16. Baltimore Orioles: $620 million
17. San Diego Padres: $615 million
18. Toronto Blue Jays: $610 million
19. Minnesota Twins: $605 million
20. Cincinnati Reds: $600 million
21. Arizona Diamondbacks: $585 million
22. Colorado Rockies: $575 million
23. Pittsburgh Pirates: $572 million
24. Cleveland Indians: $570 million
25. Milwaukee Brewers: $565 million
26. Houston Astros: $530 million
27. Miami Marlins: $500 million
28. Oakland A’s: $495 million
29. Kansas City Royals: $490 million
30. Tampa Bay Rays: $485 million