Mains: Breaking down the Forbes data for baseball finances

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on April 10, 2020:

Yesterday Forbes released its annual data on baseball finances. Compiled by managing editor Mike Ozanian and his staff, the report is easily the most authoritative source of information regarding baseball team finances. Is it completely accurate? Absolutely not; it’s based on estimates, projections, a handful of public documents (like leases and bond filings) and extensive interviews. Baseball teams are private companies, and their books are not open to the public. (And even if they were, we wouldn’t learn that much from them.) But the Forbes data have been honed by decades of research. I don’t freely toss around the word authoritative for estimates. But Ozanian and Forbes have earned it.

I’m going to talk about two separate issues, highlights and takeaways.

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Originally published: April 10, 2020. Last Updated: April 10, 2020.