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Yankees extend reign as MLB's most valuable team: Forbes

New York Yankees' Thomas Neal (R) celebrates with teammate Kevin Youkilis after scoring against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning
New York Yankees' Thomas Neal (R) celebrates with teammate Kevin Youkilis after scoring against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning

(Reuters) - The New York Yankees are Major League Baseball's (MLB) most valuable team for a 16th consecutive year, coming in at more than triple the league's average value, according to a survey released by Forbes on Wednesday.

The 27-time World Series champion Yankees, owned by the Steinbrenner family, were valued at $2.3 billion, a 24 percent jump from last year and comfortably above the second ranked Los Angeles Dodgers ($1.6 billion).

The Boston Red Sox ($1.3 billion), Chicago Cubs ($1 billion) and Philadelphia Phillies ($893 million) rounded out the top five while the 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants ($786 million) were ranked seventh.

With the increase in value, the Yankees surpassed the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys, who are worth $2.1 billion, as the most valuable U.S. sports team.

The average MLB team value is now $744 million, a 23 percent increase from last year, which Forbes attributed to new national television deals, climbing valuations for MLB Advanced Media and baseball's investment fund.

The Forbes report (www.forbes.com/mlb) was released ahead of MLB's 2013 season opener on Sunday.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Julian Linden)

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