Forbes: Detroit Tigers 19th-most valuable in majors

The Detroit News

The Tigers are the 19th-most valuable team in Major League Baseball, according to Forbes, which posted its annual baseball team values Wednesday.

The Tigers are valued at $1.225 billion, according to Forbes, which represents a 2 percent change from a year ago. The Yankees are baseball’s most valuable franchise for the 21st straight year, at $4 billion.

Forbes reports the Tigers, who at 64-98 shared baseball’s worst record last season after trading away star players such as Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez, and Justin Upton for prospects, generated a revenue of $277 million last season, but lost $46 million in operating income.

The Tigers also apparently were hurt by a decline in TV viewership last season, Forbes’ Mike Ozanian writes.

“The Tigers, who are currently negotiating a new TV deal, had the biggest one-year drop (36 percent) in TV ratings during the 2017 season, to 4.48 on FS Detroit,” Ozanian wrote.

In compiling the rankings, Ozanian writes the 30 major-league teams fall into four distinct groups: The Yankees, who have their own group because of their revenue-generating dominance; teams in big cities with “very strong brands;” teams missing at least one key ingredient, which could be a new ballpark, on-field performance, market size, or management, Ozanian writes.

The Tigers, meanwhile are in the fourth group, according to Forbes.

“These teams typically are hampered by at least two of the following: Small or indifferent market, old ballpark, bad management,” Ozanian writes. “These team will never rise into the second group.”

This season, the Tigers are off to a 4-6 start entering Wednesday night’s game in Cleveland.