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Nationals hang in top 10 of Forbes' most valuable MLB franchises

Nationals hang in top 10 of Forbes' most valuable MLB franchises

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

The season is just weeks underway and the Washington Nationals are priming for a long year, and one that the team is hoping could end in a World Series run. 

On Tuesday, Forbes magazine released their annual rankings of the value of every Major League Baseball team. As NL East division winners for three of the past five years, the Nationals have fallen to 10th place, one spot lower than a season ago. 

Forbes has marked the team with a 23 percent total increase in value, from $1.3 billion last year to now $1.6 billion. According to Forbes' analysis, the largest contributor to the team's value is their market which brings in $634 million. This marks the Nationals largest increase in value since the 2014 to 2015 seasons, when the team jumped by 45 percent after finishing with the National League's best record. 

Passing the Nationals, is their NL East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies who skyrocketed with a 34 percent value increase to ninth place. Total value of the Phillies is $1.65 billion. Across the NL East, the New York Mets come in at sixth ($2 billion), the Atlanta Braves at 12th ($1.5 billion), and the Marlins at 25th ($940 million). 

MORE NATS: Washington makes score respectable but fall in the ninth to the Phillies

Up the beltway, the Baltimore Orioles have fallen to 19th in the league, dropping two spots from last season. The team was passed by the Pittsburgh Pirates (17th) and the team that knocked the Orioles out of the playoffs last season, the Toronto Blue Jays (16th). Overall, the Orioles increased in value by 15 percent from 2015 when the team vaulted up the list. 

However, Baltimore is one of five teams in MLB that is the red when it comes to operating value (-$2.1 million). Forbes notes that a large factor affecting the team's value is their dispute with MASN that is currently being overtaken by the Nationals. The only division rival that they top is the Tampa Bay Rays who are last in all of MLB with $825 million.

Top 5 Most Valuable Teams:

1. New York Yankees ($3.7 billion)

2. Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.75 billion)

3. Boston Red Sox ($2.7 billion)

4. Chicago Cubs ($2.675 billion)

5. San Francisco Giants ($2.65 billion)

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.