The Toronto Blue Jays are worth less than the average Major League Baseball franchise, but considerably more than they were worth this time last year, according to Forbes. In a report released Wednesday, Forbes valued the Blue Jays at $568 million, 21st among baseball’s 30 teams. That estimate suggests a 38% increase compared to the club’s 2012 value — the fourth-largest jump in baseball.
Forbes values the average MLB team at $744 million, an increase of 23% compared to last year. National broadcasting fees and the profitable MLB advanced media department drove franchise values to record heights, according to the Forbes report.
Valued at $2.3 billion, the Yankees sit atop the Forbes list for the 16th year in a row. The Los Angeles Dodgers ($1.615 billion), Boston Red Sox ($1.312 billion) and Chicago Cubs ($1 billion) are also worth at least $1 billion, according to Forbes.
The Blue Jays trail teams such as the San Diego Padres ($600 million), Arizona Diamondbacks ($584 million) and Minnesota Twins ($578 million) while ranking ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers ($562 million), Cleveland Indians ($559 million) and Cincinnati Reds ($546 million), among others.
Only the Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays had greater increases in value than the Blue Jays (measured in relation to Forbes’ 2012 valuations). However, the Rays still rank last among the sport’s teams with an estimated value of $451 million.
Discrepancies do exist between the Forbes list and franchise sale prices. For example, Guggenheim Baseball Management, the group led by Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson, purchased the Dodgers for $2.15 billion last year.
The Rogers Communications-owned Blue Jays drew 2,099,663 fans in 2012, eighth among American League teams.