January 2, 2021 at 3:04 pm #151048
Very early look at the 2021 payroll rankings per Cot’s. This list will obviously change as more free agents sign and trades are made. We can update it a few more times before opening day.
1. Dodgers $189.4
2. Yankees $163.6
3. Angels $161.2
4. Padres $157.4
5. Nationals $155.0
6. Red Sox $154.4
7. Astros $153.9
8. Mets $146.1
9. Giants $138.5
10. Cubs $130.8
11. Phillies $130.2
12. Rockies $128.7
13. Cardinals $126.8
14. Braves $118.4
15. Reds $117.4
16. White Sox $113.5
17. Dbacks $90.9
18. Twins $90.5
19. Royals $83.1
20. Blue Jays $76.0
21. Rangers $74.5
22. Brewers $74.5
23. A’s $69.8
24. Indians $67.9
25. Tigers $67.2
26. Mariners $63.7
27. Orioles $60.0
28. Rays $52.7
29. Marlins $52.3
30. Pirates $44.7January 2, 2021 at 3:09 pm #151049
And before I get pounced on about the disparity between the Dodgers and Cardinals remember my comparison was more about how talent was acquired than total payroll. Almost all of the Dodger payroll is from internal extensions and trades. I should also point out that they have $90M coming off the books after 2021 so they are actually in a very nimble position. The only long term contract they have is Betts.
I would also point out that the MLBPA should argue more for a salary floor instead of worrying so much about getting rid of the salary cap.January 2, 2021 at 4:13 pm #151050
In your opinion, what amount should a salary floor be per club for 2021?January 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm #151052Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
Noted that the Dodgers points have been registered again. Others have already explained why they see it differently. Focusing on the mix is somewhat interesting, but the total size of the pot matters far more in the end.
In the above numbers, the Dodgers are a whopping 50% higher than the Cardinals. That is very significant no matter how it was generated. And just the other day, it was reported that they are interested in LeMahieu and maybe Bauer, too.
That is why Mo said it is like they start every inning with a runner on first base. Great culture and deep pockets make an admirable combination.
https://t.co/scUunVxF7h When I ask executives/agents where top free agents will end up, I’ve been surprised how many have said the #Dodgers for Bauer/LeMahieu. That L.A. is mentioned so much speaks at minimum to the talent, financial flexibility and culture created there.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 26, 2020January 2, 2021 at 9:44 pm #151062
In your opinion, what amount should a salary floor be per club for 2021?
The NFL set their cap at $198.2M and the minimum amount at $175M (88.2% of max). Thus the total minimum player pay would be $5.6B and the max would be about $6.3B. If we used the publicly estimated revenue data ($15.26B), that means players would get between 36.7%-41.6% of revenue.
If MLB set theirs using the luxury tax of $210M threshold as a true cap, then the minimum would be $185.2M. This would have a dramatic effect on players’ share of the pie. Using 2019 data, player salaries are an estimated 37.7% of revenues. Under a true cap and floor similar to NFL, player salaries would be a minimum of 51.9% of revenues and up to 58.8% of revenues. This seems like a great idea for players but the owners would revolt. So what if we set the floor at half of the luxury threshold, or $105M for 2021? Again using 2019 data, we would see total payroll bumped by approximately $177M, and affecting eight teams (some of whom would not be affected this coming year, but it was the easiest data I had to work with). This means player payroll would be 39.4% of total revenue, which is right in the middle of the NFL high and low. This seems about right.
So I’ll go with half of the luxury tax number, $105M. The Rays and Pirates may have to buy some vets they otherwise would not have been in on. Other penny pinchers would be free to keep doing what they wanted so long as they kept payroll over that threshold.January 2, 2021 at 11:22 pm #151064
But is there a way to make a $105M floor work? The problem is that there are 14 teams with a cumulative total of $432.4M over that floor of $105M. One way to come up with that extra $432.4M would be to set a ceiling of $110M coupled with big time revenue sharing by every team. Essentially, it would probably require all of the MLB teams to throw all of their revenue into one big pot, and then divide it so that each team gets $105M to spend on payroll, and perhaps, another $50M for operating expenses. Then, the money that is left over after that would be sent back to the organizations that generated income above the $165M allocated to each team for payroll and operating expenses.
Fat chance of this happening. But I would be fine with it if it did.January 3, 2021 at 12:34 am #151066
I have read the Bauer and Lemahieu reports also Brian but as you have pointed out many times, any team can be “lurking” or “in on” a player even if we don’t really know the level of seriousness. Agents have to fan the flames right? If the Dodgers did unexpectedly sign one of those players it would be because they know they have $90M coming off the books after this upcoming season. Personally I doubt if they sign either one.January 3, 2021 at 12:36 am #151067
As for a payroll minimum I would probably make it $75M for 2021 since so many teams are acting like they are on the verge of bankruptcy but then bump it up to $100M for 2022.January 3, 2021 at 8:10 am #151071
Fat chance of this happening. But I would be fine with it if it did.
Ownership would be screaming with delight with a cap set at barely over half the current luxury tax threshold. Players would receive 30.8% of revenues, far less than any other league and a big drop from current. Profits would be record highs yearly for most teams.
I would think that it’s easy to make it work. You would probably have to bump the revenue sharing that’s already happening, but on some level, if your team can’t afford to pay half of what everyone else does, you should probably sell the team to someone who can.January 3, 2021 at 8:32 am #151072
I totally agree stl25. Raising the payroll floor does not necessitate changing the payroll ceiling. MLB already has revenue sharing but the lower tier teams are choosing not to reinvest in the team.January 3, 2021 at 8:54 am #151074
Would this floor be an end of year total like the 40man CB tax total? Or opening day where teams could sell off mlb talent to stock their farms during the season?January 3, 2021 at 9:02 am #151075
Good question. How does the NFL do it?January 3, 2021 at 9:07 am #151076
I don’t know but I’d prefer a opening day total, allowing non-contenders to sell off during season for long term gains in young players, knowing they would have to meet the floor next season.January 3, 2021 at 10:40 am #151077
That sounds correct to me. It would also encourage off season action. Some of these owners might be surprised at their season ticket sales if they would actually give their fans something to get excited about. I am looking at you Pittsburgh.January 3, 2021 at 11:21 am #151078
The Pirates found out the impact of having a better team during their 2013-16 run. In 2010, they averaged 20K fans a game. By 2015 they were up to almost 31K. To be fair, their payroll was up over $100M at that time. By 2019, they were back to 18.3K fans per game.January 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm #151086
Agreed. Pittsburgh is a very good sports town and will support a team trying to win. I have always liked that the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins have pretty much had the same team colors, which promotes a sense of community.
I suppose the Pirates being bad helps the Cards but it is kind of sad to see a proud franchise like this being treated like a minor league team.January 3, 2021 at 3:53 pm #151090
If you lower the ceiling, it forces the top revenue teams to spend less money. Then, they have more money to add to the fund that gives money to the low revenue clubs so that they can afford to pay out salaries that meet the floor. Of course, those that are of the opinion that the owners are already making so much money that a ceiling is not needed to generate money for the fund, then that’s the end of it and there’s nothing more to talk about. Those people are only interested in listening to things that support their dogma that the owners are only interested in screwing as many people as they can.
There are a lot of details that would have to be worked out, and it would take some years to fully install the floor and ceiling.January 3, 2021 at 4:33 pm #151092
If you lower the ceiling, it forces the top revenue teams to spend less money.
No one needs to be “forced” to spend less money. It’s teams that collect revenue from other teams so that they can make more profit that are the issue. The idea is that MLB players are making less of the revenue than in other sports, so one easy way to bring that up is to get those teams to spend a few more bucks on their rosters (tanking is also an issue and should never, ever be incentivized). Using the Pirates as an example, they had $273M in revenues in 2019. One would imagine that it would be similar in 2021 if fans are back, but they’re projected for a $44.7M payroll. Do they really have that much other money going out to not be able to afford a higher payroll? It seems not.
There is just no reason to give such an absurdly low maximum cap when revenues are as high as they are. A tweak of the current revenue sharing model would help, to be sure. But it would not need to be thrown right out.January 3, 2021 at 5:26 pm #151096
That is how I see it too. Revenue sharing was designed so the lower tier teams would have enough funds for a more competitive payroll but they aren’t utilizing it that way.January 3, 2021 at 6:21 pm #151097
Okay, then raise the floor and raise the ceiling. The objective is to spread the wealth around so that more players get more of the big bucks. Why not do that? It’s absurd that some players are getting $35M/yr and others are getting a cup of coffee and a plane ticket home. If you have a ceiling where teams cannot pay $35M to one player because of the cap, and if that then generates excess revenue that goes over to teams that need the additional revenue to reach the floor, then there are more wealthy players rather than just a handful superwealthy ones. I know that that’s a radical idea, but so what? If it could be made to work, a lot more players would be better off than they would be without such a system.January 4, 2021 at 11:19 am #151112
That is correct mud but the owners would never go with raising both the floor and the ceiling. I was just saying that if you had to choose I think raising the floor makes the most sense to justify the revenue sharing for the smaller market teams.January 4, 2021 at 1:20 pm #151113CardsFanInChiTownParticipantFree
I’m in full support of this. What about a reasonable floor, then added to that is money received for revenue sharing and National TV contracts? Money spent on the draft, international FA’s and International prospects should somehow be added to the figure. Which can and would fluctuate year to year. Bottom line, all group money should go directly into the team or farm system.January 5, 2021 at 8:19 am #151140
Percentage of 2020 opening day payroll currently (1-5-2021) committed to 2021:
CHC 69.0%January 5, 2021 at 8:54 am #151142Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
Informative, but sobering data. Thank you for sharing.January 5, 2021 at 9:30 am #151146
Same % for the sixteen 2020 postseason teams:
The 2020 seasons largest team opening day payroll (NYY 249.8mil) currently ranks 28th at 65.5% committed to 2021. How’s that for dry powder?
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.