PEORIA, Ariz. — The Seattle Mariners’ franchise value jumped an astounding 55 percent over the last year to $1.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine in its annual financial report on Major League Baseball.
Forbes took note of the club’s new deal with Root Sports, which it said would generate about $103 million a year over the life of the 18-year agreement.
Major League Baseball does not release it financial reports and has long disputed Forbes’ annual findings.
The magazine defines franchise value as the value of the club based on its current stadium deal without deduction for debt other than stadium debt.
Forbes also reported that, despite the Root-generated windfall, the Mariners actually dropped two slots — to 14th — in terms of franchise value when measured against the other 29 teams.
The Mariners’ value is also slightly below the overall major-league average of $1.2 billion per franchise.
The New York Yankees rank first in value at $3.2 billion. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second at $2.4 billion, followed by Boston at $2.1 billion, San Francisco at $2 billion and the Chicago Cubs at $1.8 billion.
The Mariners rank third in value among American League West teams.
The Los Angeles Angels rank eighth overall at $1.3 billion; Texas is 11th at $1.22 billion; Houston is 26th at $800 million; and Oakland is 27th at $725 million.
The only franchises ranked lower than the Astros and Athletics are Kansas City at $700 million, Miami at $650 million and Tampa Bay at $625 million.
Cora on opening day
Former second baseman Joey Cora will mark the 20th anniversary of the Mariners’ first postseason club by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for season opener on April 6 against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field.
Cora, now 49, played for the Mariners from 1995 until an Aug. 31, 1998 trade sent him to Cleveland for third baseman David Bell. Cora batted .277 in an 11-year career for four teams.
Pre-game ceremonies for the opener start at 12:30 p.m. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.
The Mariners report only scattered single tickets remain for the opener.