Houston Astros are the most profitable team in baseball

The most profitable team in MLB probably isn't the one you might think

8/27/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Jun 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros owner Jim Crane watches before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsBefore reading this Forbes report, if you had asked me which baseball team has the highest operating income in Major League Baseball this year, I definitely wouldn't have gotten it on my first guess.

Hell, I might not have gotten it if you gave me 20 guesses.

Believe it or not, the Houston Astros are not only the most profitable team in baseball in  2013, they're on pace to be the most profitable team of all time.

That's right. The Astros, who are the only team in baseball with less than 45 wins, are the most profitable team of all time.

A lot of it has to do with their payroll. The Astros only have one player who makes over one million dollars, which isn't even remotely high by any standard. There are 64 players in baseball whose annual salary is more than the Astros' entire payroll.

Is this a bad thing? Will other owners take a look at the Astros' business model and try to dilute their big league talent in an attempt to make more money?

It's possible that some owners might try to go that route, but I'm not sure anyone can say that the Astros are even doing the wrong thing.

Keep in mind that they're completely rebuilding their team, and owner Jim Crane bought the team when they were already a terrible team. They've already begun restocking their farm system, and by many standards the Astros have the best farm system in baseball.

While it may look bleak for the Astros at the moment, they're set up rather nicely to be contenders moving forward, and they could end up with a situation similar to the Rays over the past half decade, where they're contending on a yearly basis despite one of the lower salaries in baseball.

Also, despite the fact that their operating income is the highest we've ever seen, the Astros still aren't generating the same type of overall revenue that teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and others are producing. So despite this report, it would be far-fetched to say that other teams will attempt to follow this model.

If the Astros were to continue this level of mediocrity, the profit margin would decline at some point. However, since they're on the way to improving over the next few years, they might actually make even more money in upcoming years.

Believe it or not, this is a good thing for baseball. Just trust me on that.
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