Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rangers officially sold. Does that put a price on the Astros?

So Nolan Ryan's group has bought the Texas Rangers for a price expected to be somewhere north of $500 million.

As in the free agent market, this sets a precedent. How does it affect the Astros' potential sale? We can refer to last April's Forbes report breaking down some of the financials regarding all 30 Major-League teams. Let's compare the Astros and Rangers, shall we?

TeamCurrent Value1-yr Value ChgDebt/Value%Revenues

A couple of notes (and keep in mind, I'm not an economist, I was a history major. So this is your cue to say, "Screw you. You don't know." And that would be moderately valid.):

Current Value: Value of team based on current stadium deal without deduction for debt (other than stadium debt). And by "current value," we mean value in 2008. So given the relative success of the Rangers in 2009, and the...ahem...performance of the Astros in 2009, I would not be surprised to see the Rangers come closer to the Astros.

The Rangers are also on an operating income (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $17.4m, while the Astros sit at an even $17m.

All this is to ask: Are the Astros worth more than the Rangers? And if the Investment Group comes up with $650m and Drayton doesn't take it, will that make him a complete moron?

UPDATE: ESPN is saying the price is around $570 million:

A sale price was not announced, but a source said the price tag was under $570 million, which includes the team, the lease at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and approximately 153 acres of real estate around the park. The real estate portion of the agreement was part of a separate transaction, which transfers most of the land controlled by Hicks around the ballpark and Cowboys Stadium to the Greenberg group.