ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Fans of the Texas Rangers holds a Texas state flag during Game Six of the ALCS against the New York Yankees during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The financial health of Major League Baseball clubs is up, up, up in all but three clubs.
Another big winner was the Texas Rangers (up 25%, to $561 million). Ray Davis and Bob Simpson bought the team, the lease to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and some nearby real estate from Tom Hicks in a bankruptcy court auction for $593 million in July. Not only are the Rangers, which needed assistance from MLB to meet payroll last season, much better capitalized (the new owners infused the team with $225 million of equity), the team also has a new, richer cable deal. It signed a 20-year TV deal with Fox Sports Southwest that is expected to pay more than $1.5 billion over the life of the contract. The afterglow of the team’s first World Series appearance in October will also boost sponsorship and ticket revenues this year.
Tops, unsurprisingly, were the Yankees of New York followed by the Red Sox. But the disparagy between No. 1 ($1.7 billion) and 2 ($912 million) is huge -- 86 percent.
Taking a dive in 2010 were the Mets, Padres and Indians. See the rankings for all teams here.