The New York Yankees are back where they belong: On top ... at least when it comes to money. The Yankees are baseball's most valuable franchise, according to Forbes, which values the team at a whopping $6 billion.
Average MLB team values are up 9 percent following the new collective-bargaining agreement. Forbes estimates the ability to put advertising patches on jerseys and helmets in 2023 will fuel extra revenue for teams. The expanded postseason will also help teams bring in more revenue. MLB will expand to 12 postseason teams in 2022. The average MLB team is worth $2.07 billion, per Forbes, an all-time high.
Those changes allow the Yankees to gain significant ground on the Dallas Cowboys, one of the world's most valuable sports teams. The Cowboys were estimated to be worth $6.5 billion by Forbes in August.
The Yankees tower over every other MLB team. The Los Angeles Dodgers, ranked second on Forbes' list, are valued at $4.075 billion. A fair portion of the team's valuation is tied up in its television deal, which netted the Dodgers $189 million, the most in baseball. The Yankees have the second-best television rights deal, coming in at $138 million.
The Miami Marlins are the only team on the list to be valued at less than $1 billion, coming in at $990 million.
Yankees hesitant to exceed luxury tax despite $6 billion value
The Yankees appear to be thriving financially, but the team has been hesitant to exceed the MLB luxury tax in recent years. The Yankees, previously the biggest spender in the game, head into the 2022 MLB with a projected payroll around $239 million, per Spotrac. That figure would put the team just over the luxury tax in 2022, though just barely.
The Yankees' payroll is up compared to 2021, though that increase is mostly due to players receiving raises in arbitration. The team took on salary when it added third baseman Josh Donaldson in a trade with the Minnesota Twins and when it signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Fans have criticized the team for failing to bring in Carlos Correa or Trevor Story, two of the biggest names on the free-agent market. The Yankees will instead go with Isiah Kiner-Falefa, whom the team acquired in the Donaldson trade. Kiner-Falefa will reportedly make just under $5 million in 2022.