The Cleveland Guardians are never going to be a team that is valued at a particularly high number, and their spot on Forbes' list is no exception. Cleveland is far from being at the level of the teams at the top of the valuation list, such as the Yankees ($7.1 billion) or of the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs (between $4.1 and $4.8 billion). The Guardians' place is, unsurprisingly, near the bottom.
Checking in at number 26 is Cleveland, ahead of only Kansas City, Cincinnati, Oakland, and Miami. According to the report, the Guardians are valued at $1.3 billion with an operating income of $40.3 million. The difference between Cleveland's valuation and Miami's last-place valuation is just $300 million. This does not appear to be a particularly large amount when considering the differential between the Guardians and Yankees ($5.8 billion).
As stated in the article, Forbes has a particular method for calculating team values:
"Forbes' team values are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) based on historical transactions and the future economics of the sport and each team. Revenue and operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) are for the 2022 season and are net of revenue sharing, competitive balance taxes and stadium revenue used for debt service."- Forbes' valuation method for MLB teams
The valuation also excludes any stakes in regional sports networks, real-estate investments, and additional businesses.
An interesting note to factor into the valuations from Forbes is that teams which may be losing their RSN (of which Cleveland is one) have their value stay the same. There are two exceptions: Colorado and San Diego. Both teams received bumps due to potential stadium revenue, making up for any lost television revenue. As many know, that does not necessarily translate well to Cleveland, with attendance being no better than ninth in the American League dating back to the 2003 season. Two additional facts about their attendance rankings: Ten of those years predate Houston joining the American League and 11 have the Guardians being 12th or worse in that area.
Maybe someday down the line Cleveland will find itself higher on this list. For now, with RSN uncertainty, being a smaller market team, and still being in the early stages of their rebrand, the Guardians will have to settle for ranking 26th and being ahead of five teams.