Yankees worth big league-high $3.7 billion

Patrick McDermott  Getty Images

Of the other teams on the list, all four have made a playoff appearance at some point in the last two seasons.

Notably, the Phillies led Major League Baseball in operating income with a surplus of $87.7 million. They moved up one spot from ten in 2016 to nine this year. Large chunks of that payroll cut came thanks to the expiring contracts of Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay along with trading away the bigger contracts of Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. That was a record for an Major League Baseball franchise, which many considered to be a ridiculous price, but Forbes projects the team would be sold at a 180 percent increase if the Cubs hit the market today. On the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the next most valuable franchise with a value of $2.75 billion. Greatly contributing to the higher values is MLB Advanced Media, the league's digital and technology arm which has experienced huge growth in recent years and is equally owned by the league's teams.

The New York Yankees were listed as the most valuable, at $3.7 billion.

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New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez during an at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees are the second-highest valued sports franchise in the United States behind only the Dallas Cowboys. During the 2016 season, baseball's 30 teams posted an average operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $34 million, 52% more than the 2015 season (the previous record). With revenue increasing faster than costs, many teams are in the black right now.

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