From Biz of Baseball:
Moreover, in business news, the Yankees remain the most valuable team in all of baseball. In the past nine years, the Yankees value as an organization has more than tripled from $491 million in 1999, to $1 billion 306 million in 2008. Let us compare that to, say the 30th rank team in baseball, the Florida Marlins. If you break down the numbers, the Marlins are a team that profits with less, a case of cutting their margins. In most cases, you have to spend money to make money, but with Florida, they post the largest operating income by slashing player salaries. The Marlins who have a payroll hovering around $20 million made a profit of approximately $35 million, largely due to revenue sharing. On the other hand, “The Evil Empire” posted an operating loss of $47.3 million, largely due to their player payroll and $100 million paid out in revenue sharing. Seems like polar opposites, and that is the case, the Yankees are a brand and the Marlins are a team in the National League East.
Yes, the headline is a bit misleading, as the Yankees enterprise, including the YES Network and other incidental subsidiaries, certainly turn a healthy profit. However, the idea that small market teams need to cut payroll due to their being in the red is a lie. The Marlins could spend millions more without moving onto the wrong side of the ledger. If they did so, they might steal some players from teams like Boston and the Yankees, and there may be some form of competitive balance. Baseball needs a salary floor a lot more than they need a ceiling.
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