If they want to feel maximum confidences about their fitness to win their first World Series in 13 years, the Yankees will add another starting pitcher. Maybe a bullpen piece or two. And they’ll send Joey Gallo to some pressure-less cowtown where the fans are just happy to be there. But it conceivable general manager Brian Cashman will accomplish none of the above. Partly because it’s a seller’s market and prospect demands may be too high, but also because owner Hal Steinbrenner is, er, strategically cheap.
You can’t say he’s cheap cheap because the Yankees do have the third-largest payroll in baseball. But Steinbrenner’s penny-pinching to work around luxury tax rules has undoubtedly impacted the Yankees’ ability to build their roster (Justin Verlander in 2017 stands out as the most glaring example). And he clearly is not willing to go all-out to win like his father did.
Which brings us to the point of this post. Sportico has released its rankings of the most valuable sports franchises in North America. Steinbrenner has to like the results, but he can’t be thrilled with the timing.
The Yankees are No. 2, assessed at $7.01 billion with $702 million in annual revenue. They only trail the Dallas Cowboys, who are assessed at $7.64 billion with $978 million in revenue. And the Yankees are only one of three franchises with related businesses worth over $1 billion (the Sportico valuation is a combination of team and related business values) So if/when the Yankees cry poor in the next 30 hours or so, remember these numbers.
Some other local takeaways from Sportico’s rankings:
The No. 3 most valuable franchise? The Knicks! They edged out the Golden State Warriors, $6.12 billion to $6.03 billion. The related business value is a big factor — the Rangers are valued at $1.87 billion, only behind the Toronto Maple Leafs among NHL teams — but not as big as you think. Sportico values the Knicks as a team as only a few bucks behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
What if the Giants diversified? If you go by team value alone, the Giants are the third-most valuable in North America at $5.73 billion. But they actually rank seventh, behind the Patriots and Rams, because they have no related business value. The Giants aren’t alone; 19 of 32 NFL teams are listed as having no related business value, including the Jets. But it goes to show you that if the Giants were more ambitious — or had 100% control over their own building that wasn’t a concrete air conditioner — they might end up pushing the Yankees as the most valuable franchise in the area.
The Mets seem likely to move up the board. They’re currently 48th, at $2.68 billion in total value. But if they keep winning, Steve Cohen keeps spending and a casino gets built by Citi Field? Watch out.
The rest of the field. The Nets come in at No. 28 with a $3.61 billion evaluation. But just under a third of that is driven through related business, or the Barclays Center. The Rangers are 66th, but second in the NHL. The Islanders and Devils are each worth under $1 billion, which makes sense. Although you would have thought the Isles might get over the hump with the new building. Both MLS teams beat NHL teams, which is a feather in their cap.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]