March 3, 2018 at 4:48 pm #44940
Per Cot’s here are the current payrolls for each team. Of course there could be changes before opening day as more free agents are signed.
1. Red Sox: $230.7M
2. Giants: $196.8M
3. Dodgers: $185.7M
4. Cubs: $184.0M
5. Nationals: $178.6M
6. Angels: $166.0M
7. Yankees: $161.8M
8. Blue Jays: $158.5M
9. Mariners: $157.0M
10. Astros: $155.2M
11. Cardinals: $144.7M
12. Mets: $144.6M
13. Rockies: $131.7M
14. Indians: $130.8M
15. Rangers: $130.0M
16. Orioles: $129.4M
17. Dbacks: $126.7M
18. Tigers: $125.8M
19. Twins: $116.8M
20. Braves: $116.1M
21. Royals: $112.7M
22. Reds: $ 98.3M
23. Brewers: $ 90.9M
24. Padres: $ 90.6M
25. Marlins: $ 89.8M
26. Pirates: $ 85.5M
27. Rays: $ 77.0M
28. White Sox: $ 70.0M
29. Phillies: $ 63.7M
30. Athletics: $ 58.0MMarch 6, 2018 at 10:09 am #45050bicyclemikeModeratorPaid - Annual
Yankees down to 7th, with a pretty solid club. Red Sox committing almost half again as much as the Yankees to player personnel, and yet the Yankees might be the better team.
The Giants are rolling the dice that they can get back in contention after a terrible 2017. Dodgers, Cubs and Washington should all be right there in September.
A couple of top 10 teams that look to be over-extended are the ’77 AL expansion twins, Seattle and Toronto. It will be interesting to see if either club can make a playoff push this year.
With the exception of the Indians, the teams from 11 down are probably under 50% to make the 2018 post season. Yeah, I don’t think we are going to get there this year, but as I always say, you never know. Both the ’67 and ’85 teams were not supposed to do all that well, and each won 101 games.March 6, 2018 at 10:16 am #45055CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
Twins over extended at $116mm? A team that is probably improved from their playoff team last year?March 6, 2018 at 10:40 am #45060
The A’s should be ashamed with that payroll. What a joke. There are clearly 10 teams who aren’t even trying to compete this year.March 6, 2018 at 11:07 am #45072
I’m not saying we have to match the Cubs dollar for dollar (although we could), but a $40M gap isn’t going to cut it if we want to win the division.March 6, 2018 at 11:33 am #45082
Just a cursory view of a list like this is what folks like Scott Boras relish. Some teams are more heavily invested in older, more expensive players, like the Giants, second on the list and coming off a terrible 2017. The Cards going younger (and cheaper) does not necessarily mean they are not going to be good. Still, do I wish they had gotten a better starter than Mikolas? Sure.
Even so, the Cards are 11th in payroll and about that in terms of quality/power rankings I would guess, as 12 teams make the playoffs. As has been analyzed many times, there is no direct relationship between spending and titles, though.
At the bottom end, unless MLB changes its rules, likely forced by the Players Union, some teams will continue to be incented to go cheap, dump veterans and accumulate prospects for a later run at being competitive.
Unlike overspending, which has no clear benefit and is high risk, tanking is the formula each of the last two World Champions used to rebuild. That is pretty compelling evidence. A few of these owners may be lining their pockets instead, but that is hard to assess.March 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm #45091
There really needs to be a payroll floor. A lot of these teams get millions in revenue shares and they just pocket the money.March 7, 2018 at 11:00 am #45156
Sometimes payroll can be a determining factor in performance, sometimes it isn’t. It depends on how much dead weight is on your payroll. Teams like the Red Sox, Giants, and Dodgers have quite a bit of dead eight (Sandoval, Ramirez, Price, Pence, Cueto, Melancon, Belt, Kemp, etc…)
A team like the Cubs doesn’t really have a lot of dead weight. Heyward is a bad contract but the rest of their payroll is rather productive. Subtract Heyward from their payroll and they still have $152M of “productive payroll”. The only contract I would consider dead weight for the Cardinals is Wainright. Subtract him from our payroll and we have $125M of “productive payroll”.
$125M of productive payroll is not going to beat $152M of productive payroll and that is my point. This is all about winning the division. I am confused as to why we are playing for the wild card when we have the resources to do otherwise.March 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm #45181
Actually a better way to look at it is what competitive advantage do the Cardinals have over their opponents? In the past ten years or so it has been:
1. Smart use of analytics
2. Selective use of payroll muscle
3. Destination point for free agents
How many of those advantages do we still have?
1. Everyone uses analytics now so that really isn’t an advantage.
2. We still have payroll muscle but use it sparingly. That used to be good enough in the NL Central but no more. The Cubs can spend as much or more than we can and they choose to do so.
3. It is apparent that we are not the destination point that we used to be. While we were fortunate to avoid contracts on Pujols, Heyward, and Price, the fact that those players chose other destinations is telling. It certainly was a factor with Stanton. Can we get a big time free agent to come here even if we are willing to match the other offers?March 8, 2018 at 10:37 am #45224bicyclemikeModeratorPaid - Annual
Good point on the Twins, CC. The Twins and Indians look to be the best “bang for buck” teams out there, along with Houston of course butt they are in the top 10.
Brian, you mentioned 12 teams make the playoffs, but it is only 10 right? Three division winners and two wild cards per league.March 8, 2018 at 10:45 am #45227
The Brewers are 23rd in payroll but could finish 2nd in the NL Central and get a wild card. That is good bang for your buck also.March 8, 2018 at 1:10 pm #45234
You got me there, Mike!March 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm #4523814NyquisTParticipant
Molina and Leake together are getting over 25% of the teams salary (Spotrac). Talk about bang for your buck.March 9, 2018 at 11:34 am #45288
Molina and Leake together are getting over 25% of the teams salary (Spotrac). Talk about bang for your buck.
Add Wainwright and there is 31% of our payroll.March 9, 2018 at 8:53 pm #45351forsch31ParticipantFree
How can Molina and Leake take up over 25% of the teams salary when they total $26 million of a team payroll of $140+ million?March 9, 2018 at 10:36 pm #45356
Spotrac is incomplete at best and in this case, just wrong. For starters, they have the Cards paying all of Leake’s salary. I do not use that site.March 9, 2018 at 10:51 pm #45359
So I have a question and hope someone can clarify:
How does the money we still owe for Leake calculated against the payroll and luxury tax?March 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm #45388
We are paying $6M of Leake’s salary this year thus it counts $6M towards payroll. I think the luxury tax goes by the AAV over the entire contract.
I prefer to use Cot’s. According to their numbers Molina, Wainwright, and Leake make up 31% of our payroll this year.
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