It is well known that for the most part owners make money by selling a team, not by holding onto one. When Peter Angelos negotiated with MLB to let the Expos move to Washington D.C., he set himself up with a minimum payment of 360MM (if I remember correctly). It made me wonder how much the team's value has changed over the years and what that value was at the end of 2004 when he made that deal. I've taken data from Forbes and Financial World from 1990 - 2010 provided neatly over at the Biz of Baseball and decided to do a few things.* This span will show how the value of the Orioles has changed durng the entire Angelos era and what the 360MM line means for the Orioles. Additionally, I will also compare the Orioles against other teams in the current AL East over the years. So, first things first, how has the Orioles value changed over the year:
What is also interesting to see is how the value of the organization denotes the Orioles as one of the most valuable teams in the 1990s (4 straight years of being the second most valuable team in the league) to being a mid-market value club in the 2000s. Three possible reasons for this would include: 1) Continual losing decrease attendance and then worth (however, the value crashed after 1997 even though the team was no awful during those first few years after winning the AL East), 2) Baltimore's market had fewer unexploited resources than the other markets, and 3) other teams caught up to the boon that was Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I imagine it is a mixture of those and, perhaps, other causes I am neglecting.
After the jump...how has the Orioles value changed over time with other clubs currently in the AL East?
This next graph is a simple overvall value chart from 1990 to 2010 seasons.
With all of the new money revenues coming into the league the above graph can be misleading, so this next one uses a metric I made up called Value+. This is calculated by dividing the team worth by the average team value and multiplying it by 100.
Still, this is not exactly, perhaps, an ideal way to look at value either because a few teams (especially New York) may scatter the average team value. In response to that idea, the next graph considers a metric I call mValue+, which is calculated by dividing the team value by the median value and multiplying it by 100.
*I recognize that after Deadspin released financials from several teams last year that it is obvious that Forbes' methods are limited. I am using them though as approximates and that they are likely the best we have available.