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20 Most Valuable Major League Baseball Teams for 2015

Springtime means that the birds are chirping in the trees, the grass and flowers are creeping out from their winter sleeps, and Major League Baseball returns to stadiums, ballparks and your television

Springtime means that the birds are chirping in the trees, the grass and flowers are creeping out from their winter sleeps, and Major League Baseball returns to stadiums, ballparks and your television sets. Professional baseball is a unique sport among the top-tier competitions in North America in that Big League Baseball does not utilize a roster system that includes a hard salary cap, but the teams that are worth the most money and that spend the most cash on players do not always win championships. Unlike in soccer leagues that feature the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus, there are no true “giants” in Major League Baseball these days.

Take the San Francisco Giants as just one example. Despite the fact that the Giants have won the World Series on three occasions since the fall of 2010, nobody considers that team to be a dynasty and rightfully so. The fact of the matter is that the Giants may even struggle to make the postseason this coming fall considering the players that the club has lost coupled with the talent that is on other rosters in the National League. Of all of the pro sports titles out there, none may be harder to win than is the World Series due to the amount of teams in MLB and also how the playoffs are structured.

It should come as no surprise to even casual sports fans who follow the sport that the most valuable pro baseball franchises out there in 2015 come from the biggest media markets in the United States. Both of those teams are facing severe scrutiny for not winning a World Series over recent years, and both have routinely been outdone by local rivals as of late. The team atop this list could be in for a long season considering the one-man circus that is on the roster, the fact that its biggest rival may be the best team in the division, and that its field will be torn apart by a Major League Soccer club.

Team values from Forbes

20 Cincinnati Reds: $885 million team value

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Images

19 San Diego Padres: $890 million

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Images

18 Minnesota Twins: $895 million

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Images

17 Pittsburgh Pirates: $900 million

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Images

16 Chicago White Sox: $975 million

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports Images

15 Baltimore Orioles: $1.0 billion

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Images

14 Seattle Mariners: $1.1 billion

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports Images

13 Detroit Tigers: $1.125 billion

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports Images

12 Atlanta Braves: $1.15 billion

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Images

11 Texas Rangers: $1.22 billion

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Images

10 Philadelphia Phillies: $1.25 billion

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Images

9 Washington Nationals: $1.28 billion

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports Images

8 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $1.3 billion

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Images

7 New York Mets: $1.35 billion

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Images

6 St. Louis Cardinals: $1.4 billion

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Images

5 Chicago Cubs: $1.8 billion

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports Images

4 San Francisco Giants: $2.0 billion

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports Images

3 Boston Red Sox: $2.1 billion

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports Images

2 Los Angeles Dodgers: $2.4 billion

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Images

1 New York Yankees: $3.2 billion

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Images

The Yankees have gone from celebrating the final season in the career of all-time great Derek Jeter to wondering what Alex Rodriguez could possibly have left in the tank. A-Rod is the true lightning rod of sports talk and of baseball media, and whatever he does on the field – good or bad – is going to make headlines and generate talk on social media websites and on talk shows. Add in the fact that players are irate that the Yankee Stadium turf is going to be torn up numerous times by MLS side New York City Football, and it could be bad times for the Yanks and for the team's fans this summer.

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20 Most Valuable Major League Baseball Teams for 2015