PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners’ franchise value jumped by $100 million last year to $1.2 billion despite a disappointing on-field season, according to Forbes magazine in its annual financial report on Major League Baseball.
Forbes calculations place the Mariners at No. 12 among the 30 clubs in terms of franchise value. A year ago, the Mariners ranked 14th.
The Mariners rank third among the five American League West Division clubs.
The Los Angeles Angels are first (and eighth overall) at $1.34 billion, followed by the Texas Rangers (11th overall) at $1.23 billion. The Houston Astros are 15th overall at $1.1 billion, and the Oakland Athletics are 28th at $725 million.
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Major League Baseball does not release it financial reports and has long disputed Forbes’ annual findings.
The magazine defines franchise value as the value of the club based on its current stadium deal without deduction for debt other than stadium debt.
The New York Yankees remain No. 1 in the rankings at $3.4 billion, which represents an increase of $200 million over 2015. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second at $2.5 billion, followed by the Boston Red Sox at $2.3 billion.
The two Florida clubs rank at the bottom: the Miami Marlins are 29th at $675 million, and the Tampa Bay Rays are last at $650 million. The Kansas City Royals, the current world champions, are 25th at $865 million.
The yearly Forbes reports valued the Mariners at $373 million in 2002, the year after the club’s most recent postseason appearance. The franchise’s value has jumped nearly 325 percent over the last 14 years.
Forbes contends the Mariners generated $271 million last year in revenues, which is an increase of $21 million over 2015. But it contends the franchise’s operating income fell from $26.4 million to $17 million.
RANGERS PICK HAMELS
Texas manager Jeff Banister confirmed what has long been expected: left-hander Cole Hamels will start for the Rangers on April 4 against the Mariners in the season opener.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez will start for the Mariners. It will be his eighth straight and ninth overall start in a season opener. He was 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA last season in five starts against Texas.
Hamels was 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA last season in four starts against the the Mariners after joining the Rangers in a July 31 trade with Philadelphia. He started, and lost, the 2013 and 2015 season openers for Philadelphia.
Texas has started a different pitcher in each of its last seven openers.
The Mariners were the only team to beat Hamels after the trade; he was 7-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 12 starts for Texas. Overall, he was 13-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 32 starts. Hernandez was 18-9 with a 3.53 ERA in 31 starts.
Right-handed Hisashi Iwakuma appears ticketed to close his spring with two starts in minor-league games after working 4 1/3 innings Monday in a 6-3 victory over the Dodgers.
The Mariners are working to line up their rotation for the regular season, which is complicated by two open dates in a 10-day span and the need to choose either Nathan Karns or James Paxton as their fifth starter.
Tentative plans have Taijuan Walker lined up to start Thursday against Colorado at Salt River Fields, Felix Hernandez on Friday against the White Sox in Peoria and lefty Wade Miley on Saturday against the Dodgers in Peoria.
Iwakuma appears in line to start in minor-league games on Saturday and again March 31, an open date in big-league camp, in order to be lined up to face Texas on April 5 in the second game of the regular season.
The Mariners’ rotation for the regular season projects as Hernandez, Iwakuma, Miley, Walker and either Paxton or Karns.
Lefty reliever Charlie Furbush tested his shoulder by throwing long toss on Wednesday, but there are still no firm plans for getting him into a Cactus League game. It’s hard to see how he doesn’t open the season on the disabled list…first baseman Dae-Ho Lee is back in camp after being present earlier this week in Seattle for the birth of his son…outfielder Franklin Gutierrez was scratched from Wednesday’s game because of the flu…Reliever Joel Peralta turned 40 on Wednesday.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners
MARINERS’ ANNUAL FRANCHISE VALUE ACCORDING TO FORBES
Year Value Rank among 30 teams
2016 $1.2 billion 12th
2015 $1.1 billion 14th
2014 $710 million 12th
2013 $664 million 12th
2012 $585 million 12th
2011 $449 million 15th
2010 $439 million 14th
2009 $426 million 13th
2008 $466 million 11th
2007 $436 million 12th
2006 $428 million 8th
2005 $415 million 5th
2004 $396 million 5th
2003 $385 million 6th
2002 $373 million 6th
Note: Major League Baseball does not release financial records and has long disputed Forbes’ valuations.
2016 MLB Valuations
New York Yankees $3.4 billion
Los Angeles Dodgers $2.5 billion
Boston Red Sox $2.3 billion
San Francisco Giants $2.25 billion
Chicago Cubs $2.2 billion
New York Mets $1.65 billion
St. Louis Cardinals $1.6 billion
Los Angeles Angels $1.34 billion
Washington Nationals $1.3 billion
Philadelphia Phillies $1.24 billion
Texas Rangers $1.23 billion
Seattle Mariners $1.2 billion
Atlanta Braves $1.18 billion
Detroit Tigers $1.15 billion
Houston Astros $1.1 billion
Chicago White Sox $1.05 billion
Baltimore Orioles $1.0 billion
Pittsburgh Pirates $975 million
Arizona Diamondbacks $925 million
Minnesota Twins $910 million
Cincinnati Reds $905 million
Toronto Blue Jays $900 million
San Diego Padres $890 million
Milwaukee Brewers $875 million
Kansas City Royals $865 million
Colorado Rockies $860 million
Cleveland Indians $800 million
Oakland Athletics $725 million
Miami Marlins $675 million
Tampa Bay Rays $650 million