“Overall, baseball has never been as big or as profitable” as it is now, Forbes’ Mike Ozanian writes in the magazine’s annual valuation of MLB franchises. The average value of a Major League team is $1.2 billion, a massive increase from Forbes’ last calculation (of $811MM) just a year ago. Fifteen teams were valued at least a billion dollars, with the Yankees leading the way at $3.2 billion. Here’s some more from around baseball…
- Despite the Yankees’ incredible value, Hal Steinbrenner said the team is not for sale in an ESPN radio interview with Michael Kay and Don LaGreca (hat tip to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News). Selling the club is “not enticing in any way shape or form,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s a family business. Many of us are involved from the family and we know this is what our dad would want, to carry on the tradition.”
- Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez is drawing “serious interest” from the Nationals, The Washington Post’s James Wagner writes. “The Nationals like Alvarez’s frame and stuff,” Wagner notes about the 18-year-old Alvarez, who is listed at 6’3″ and 175 pounds. The Nats and Diamondbacks were cited as the top contenders for Alvarez by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez last month, and if Alvarez will indeed be ineligible to sign until July 2, that will eliminate the D’Backs from contention due to penalties for going over slot in this signing period to land Yoan Lopez. Even if Arizona is out of the running, however, the Nats will still have to bid against several other interested teams for Alvarez’s services.
- The MLBPA has been encouraging players to look for other means of achieving guaranteed financial security rather than accept below-market extensions, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports. One of those means is taking out a “loss-of-value” insurance policy to protect against injury (Max Scherzer took out such a policy last season) and Rosenthal suggests that Corey Kluber could explore doing the same this year to gain some leverage in contract talks with the Indians. Kluber could cash in by signing an extension now, but waiting even one season to get into his arbitration-eligible years would greatly increase the value of a multi-year deal, Rosenthal argues. With the loss-of-value policy backing him up, Kluber would have fewer worries about getting hurt this season and missing out on a chance at a big contract.
- Brady Aiken’s Tommy John surgery will lower his draft stock and potentially make him a risk for teams picking near the top of the first round, though Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal thinks the Red Sox could take a chance on Aiken with the seventh overall pick. The addition of a first-round caliber talent in Yoan Moncada and an overall deep minor league system gives Boston the luxury to take a risk on Aiken and hopes that, if he recovers, they’ll have fallen into a future ace.
- Jake Fox is trying to land a regular minor league job with the Blue Jays, and the veteran talks to Sportsnet.com’s Arden Zwelling about some of the ups and downs of being a baseball journeyman.