Team USA will play in the World Baseball Classic’s version of the “Final Four” after beating Venezuela 9-7. Trea Turner’s grand slam in the eighth inning was the difference, sending the Americans into a semifinal against Cuba on Sunday. Mexico will face Japan in the other semifinal on Monday. Kyle Tucker had three hits for the Americans while Pittsburgh Pirates reliever David Bednar got the win and Ryan Pressly earned the save.
Another major injury at the World Baseball Classic
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve could miss significant time after being hit on the thumb during an at-bat at the WBC. Altuve, an eight-time All-Star and 2017 American League MVP, was struck by a Daniel Bard fastball. Doctors with the Venezeulan team say Altuve sustained a broken thumb.
Jose Altuve leaves the game after being hit in the hand by a pitch. pic.twitter.com/Dzd9phTnnK
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 19, 2023
The defending World Series champions no doubt are hopeful that Altuve will be ready for Opening Day, March 30 against the White Sox. Last year, Altuve hit .300/.387/.533, marking his sixth season over .300. Altuve is 3 for 14 with five walks and the hit by pitch in the World Baseball Classic.
The initial concern is a broken right thumb for Altuve, although there won’t be more information until Sunday.
The injury comes just days after Mets closer Edwin Díaz lost his season after suffering a patella tendon tear in his right knee that he suffered celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic. That sparked controversy over the World Baseball Classic’s proximity to the regular season.
MLB Franchise Values on the rise
Shed no tears for those Major League Baseball teams who spent billions on free agents this year. According to a new survey, the value of MLB teams is up. In 2004, the average value of an MLB franchise was 295 million U.S. dollars. However, in the 2022 edition of MLB team valuations, the estimated average franchise value had greatly increased, reaching 2.07 billion U.S. dollars. This according to a report from Sportico.com.
The fall of regional sports networks (RSNs) is already impacting team valuations.
For example, Sportico says the average MLB team is now worth $2.36 billion.
That's just a 2% increase from 2022, and 10 teams actually saw their value decrease year over year.
(h/t @kbadenhausen) pic.twitter.com/XNgVGW5mlD
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) March 14, 2023
To derive the market value of the 30 MLB franchises, Sportico calculated each team’s revenue relying on publicly available information and financial records—and interviews with those knowledgeable of team finances, including eight sports bankers and attorneys who actively work on MLB transactions.