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Yankees top Forbes' list of richest MLB clubs

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Major League Baseball may lose billions to the coronavirus shutdown, but its clubs appear to be on firm footing according to Forbes' latest list of franchise values released Thursday.

The financial publication estimated that 28 of 30 MLB clubs appreciated in value in 2019.

The New York Yankees once again top the list, appreciating 9% to $5 billion in total value.

According to Forbes, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, worth an estimated $5.5 billion, are the only sports franchise in the world worth more than the Yanks.

Forbes predicted that strong recent profits will "help offset any downturn from the delayed season."

MLB has indefinitely postponed the 2020 campaign, which had been scheduled to start on March 26, as health authorities urge social distancing to slow the spread of deadly COVID-19.

Until the setback, Forbes said, MLB profits were at record highs thanks to flat player costs and increased revenue of $16 million per team on average.

Forbes calculated that the Yankees generated $683 million in revenue in 2019.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were rated the second-most valuable team at $3.4 billion, and also posted the second-highest revenue, Forbes said.

The Boston Red Sox clocked in at third at $3.3 billion, followed by the Chicago Cubs ($3.2 billion), San Francisco Giants ($3.1 billion), New York Mets ($2.4 billion), St. Louis Cardinals ($2.2 billion) and Philadelphia Phillies ($2 billion).

Only the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins dropped in value, the Pirates by 1% and the Marlins by 2%.

Only the Marlins, valued at $980 million, were outside the billionaire club, according to the calculations by Forbes.

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