The 2019 season was another down year on the field for the Giants, and they struggled to attract as many fans to the ballpark as in the past, but the franchise still increased in value, according to Forbes.
The annual list of MLB team values was released Thursday and the Giants ranked fifth at $3.1 billion, a three percent increase from the year before. According to Forbes, the Giants rank behind only the New York Yankees ($5 billion), Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.4 billion), Boston Red Sox ($3.3 billion) and Chicago Cubs ($3.2 billion). The A's were 26th at $1.1 billion.
The Giants crossed the $1 billion mark in 2014 and have continued to rise since. While the sport will be taking a massive financial hit this season, the Giants should be on solid footing moving forward. Their ballpark is paid off and construction is underway on the Mission Rock development across McCovey Cove that will provide a new stream of income.
The Giants took a hit at the gates last season, falling under three million in total attendance for just the third time since moving to their new ballpark 20 years ago. The 2,707,760 fans marked the fewest total in Oracle Park's history.
The organization should be on the upswing, though. The farm system once again is rated in the top 10 and should provide the talent to get the organization back into contention. The Giants, after years of paying or flirting with the luxury tax, can also see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the team's payroll.
Getting the payroll under control has been a point of emphasis for Farhan Zaidi, who was able to trade Mark Melancon's contract in July. Jeff Samardzija's $90 million deal ends after this season regardless of how many games are played and big contracts for Buster Posey, Johnny Cueto, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford expire after the 2021 season. For 2022, a year in which the Giants hope to have a competitive young core, Evan Longoria is the only player with a guaranteed contract.