With a few days until opening day let’s take a look at some of the highest payrolls in Major League Baseball and how they correlate to wins. Many of the big market teams like The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels are used to having extremely high payrolls since they are in huge media markets and can lure some of the best talent year in and year out. Most of these teams come October prove that all the big spending and long nights talking with agents was all worth it.
Highest MLB Team Payrolls as of 2015
1.Los Angeles Dodgers – $273,440,830
2.New York Yankees – $211,747,857
3.Boston Red Sox -$189,577,594
4.San Francisco Giants – $169,102,777
5.Detroit Tigers – $166,675,000
6.Los Angeles Angels – $159,687,833
7.Texas Rangers – $135,750,000
8.Chicago White Sox – $122,630,477
9.Toronto Blue Jays – $121,125,000
10.Baltimore Orioles – $119,237,142
It’s an interesting concept when you consider that all but 4 teams listed here made the playoffs last season. Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox,Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox were the ones on the outside looking in. While the Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals made the small market push that eventually created a larger margin for Kansas City as their success led to huge financial gains at the end of the year. Kansas City falls into the #12 spot on our list of top payrolls this year ($116,475,100) which is no surprise given their overall success as team and organization during the regular season and postseason last year.
As we shift from top overall team payrolls to highest paid players in the league its fascinating to look at how many players actually earn their big bucks on game day. Many players like Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw and Robinson Cano all are huge names who back up their reputations with great play day in and day out. It’s the guys like Josh Hamilton who have been slumping for almost 2 years now who make ($25,400,000) a year who are huge cap issues when they don’t pan out. Guys like Jose Reyes and A Rod fall into this demographic as well. Players who are well paid yet haven’t been as productive as many GM’s would have liked.
The top paid player in the MLB this season will be the Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw who will make $32,571,428 over the year. Kershaw is the only $30 million a year man in the MLB after signing his 7 year $215,000,000 contract. Kershaw is regarded as one of the best young pitchers in the game and his contract comes as no surprise after he dominated all of last season on his way to his first NL MVP award. After what Kershaw accomplished last year, I think it’s pretty obvious the guy is the front runner for his 4th NL Cy Young this year.
The highest paid outfielder in the MLB is the always interesting Josh Hamilton. Hamilton has recently been in the news for saying he needs to quit baseball to help his quality of life. True or not, the Angels need Hamilton. Hamilton was once the #1 pick in 1999 of the Tampa Bay Rays before his life and career were abruptly cut short due to drug use. But he was luckily afforded another chance and in 2010 while a member of the Texas Rangers he went on to enjoy one of the most heartfelt comeback stories in baseball history when he hit 32 home runs and drove in 100 RBI on his way to the AL MVP award. To top it off Hamilton managed to hit 43 Home runs with 128 RBI’s in 2012 to earn himself a huge 5 year $125 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Since joining the Angels Hamilton has hit 31 HR’s and driven in 123 RBI’s in 2 years. His emotional state has played on his current averages. Hamilton is said to be making a decision on his playing career before opening day. As of now, a healthy and happy Hamilton could be exactly what the Angels need to get over the hump come October.