Tag Archive | "Salary Cap"

Baseball Salaries vs Values

I was recently sent a story from Forbes about the value of MLB teams, and I started to wonder how that list corresponded to the salary list.  So let’s take a look at the top 10 most valuable MLB franchises according to Forbes.

Top 10 MLB Team Values

Home Plate at the Ballpark in Arlington

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. New York Mets
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Chicago Cubs
  6. Philadelphia Phillies
  7. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  8. St. Louis Cardinals
  9. San Fransisco Giants
  10. Chicago White Sox

The top 5 on the list out distance the rest of the clubs by a long shot.  The Yankees weight in at $1.6 billion with the Red Sox in 2nd at $870 million.  A big drop off is seen after #5.  The Cubs come in at $726 million, but there is nearly a 200 million drop off to #6 in Philadelphia. So how does this translate to salary levels?  Below is the top 10 MLB salaries according to cbssports.com.

Top 10 MLB Team Salaries*

*bold teams on both lists
  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Chicago Cubs
  4. Philadelphia Phillies
  5. New York Mets
  6. Detroit Tigers
  7. Chicago White Sox
  8. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  9. Seattle Mariners
  10. San Francisco Giants

Only 2 teams valued in the top 10 by Forbes are not on the list of the top 10 salaries for 2010 (Los Angeles Dodgers & St. Louis Cardinals).  The Dodgers come in at #12 on the salary list, while the Cardinals come in at #13.   The Seattle Mariners (#14 on the Forbes list) and the Detroit Tigers (#22 on the Forbes list) are the only teams not in the top 10 of value that are in the top 10 in salary.

So we can see that the majority of the highest valued teams also have the highest payrolls, but it is the same with the lower valued teams?

Bottom 10 MLB Teams in Value according to Forbes

  1. Baltimore Orioles
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Cincinnati Reds
  6. Toronto Blue Jays
  7. Florida Marlins
  8. Tampa Bay Rays
  9. Oakland Athletics
  10. Pittsburgh Pirates

This really isn’t too surprising a list.  Most of these teams have not won for many years.  Despite a few having new stadiums, more are playing in older parks built at least 15 years ago.  But how does it translate to salaries.

Bottom 10 MLB Teams in Salary*

*bold teams on both lists
  1. Tampa Bay Rays
  2. Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Washington Nationals
  4. Cleveland Indians
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks
  6. Florida Marlins
  7. Texas Rangers
  8. Oakland Atletics
  9. San Diego Padres
  10. Pittsburgh Pirates

Most of the teams down at the bottom of Forbes list in terms of value are on the list of the lowest payrolls.  I find it interesting to see how the two list compare with one another.  For the most part a team with low value has low payroll and vice-versa.  There are however exceptions to the rule.  Detroit is a lower valued team but is spending.  The Texas Rangers are a higher valued team (#12) but are not spending much on payroll.  Of course, they are going through an ownership change that can’t come quick enough.  There will always be exceptions, but as a general rule it looks as though the higher the value team, the more spent on payroll.

Perhaps the most telling sign is the difference between the Yankees at #1 and the Pirates at #30.  The Yankees payroll comes in at just over $206 million, while the Pirates top out at just under $35 million.  When you break it down per player that is $8.2 million to $1.2 million.  There are all sorts of stats that simply blow you away like how the top 4 individual player salaries are all Yankees.  Their salary added up for this year is more than 21 teams.  I really can’t think of how that is good for baseball.

So, does this money spent translate into wins?

The biggest favorites for a World Series title this year come from the teams that are on the list of the higher payrolls.  Looking at possible playoff teams from the lower third of the payroll, you can still find one or two possible playoff teams, but none that you would expect to contend for a World Series title.   This has got me thinking about what teams have won in the playoffs being in the bottom third of league salary levels.  I am going to do some research and get back to you on that.

What are your thoughts on these lists?  I have some more thoughts on salaries, but I will save that for later.

The two lists that I used.

The Forbes.com List of Baseball Team Values

CBSsports.com MLB Salaries List

20. Kansas City Royals $72,267,710 $2,491,990
21. Tampa Bay Rays $71,923,471 $2,663,832
22. Toronto Blue Jays $62,689,357 $2,089,645
23. Washington Nationals $61,425,000 $2,047,500
24. Cleveland Indians $61,203,967 $2,110,482
25. Arizona Diamondbacks $60,718,167 $2,335,314
26. Florida Marlins $55,641,500 $2,060,796
27. Texas Rangers $55,250,545 $1,905,191
28. Oakland Athletics $51,654,900 $1,666,287
29. San Diego Padres $37,799,300 $1,453,819
30. Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Designated Hitter – Past its Prime?

April 6, 1973, Ron Blomberg stepped up to the plate to face Luis Tiant.  It was opening day and with the bases loaded, Blomberg walked driving in the first run of the game.  This run would mean little in the bigger scheme of things as the Red Sox won 15-5 that day in Boston.  However, the significance of this one at bat was the new position that Blomberg played that day, the designated hitter. 

The designated hitter (DH) has been a source of controversy ever since.  The American League adopted the new rule of a hitter batting for the pitcher in 1973 to help boast attendance.  The idea had been tossed around before (including by Connie Mack in 1906) but was not voted in until 1973.  The DH did exactly what it was planned to do.  It helped boost attendance by providing more offense than that of the National League.  The NL never adopted the rule and has continued to have the pitchers hit.  But should the AL do away with the rule?  Or should the NL adopt it?

Everyone had different opinions on the DH.  Many people like the added offense it provides, but is something lost with its addition?  I feel like a lot is lost.  I prefer the NL style of play where more of the roster is used on a day to day basis including pinch-hitting and double switches.  Something is lost when the manager does not have to plan out all the lineup changes for the night based on when pitchers will hit.  There is a game within the game that is lost, and I feel it is a huge loss.  I also don’t like how AL pitchers can hit a batter without any fear of  retaliation since they don’t have to face the opposing pitcher.

I am also not a fan of many of the players who hang on for years after their prime purely as a hitter in the AL.  I feel that if you can’t field, you shouldn’t hit.  There are two parts to baseball, offense and defense, and I think everyone should have to do both.  This also lead us into the mixed up world of salary levels.  I am all for a salary cap and floor, and who is it that is typically a DH?  It is an older player who demands more money.  This just adds another high priced player to the rosters forcing salary levels up.  The richer teams of course can add the best of the best, while the smaller market teams opt to have a younger player, who is typically cheaper, hit as DH. 

Of course, you have to take my opinions with a grain of salt.  I am a baseball purist who was against inter-league play and Milwaukee switching leagues.  I like things to stay the same.  I do see how inter-league play has helped, but I think the DH is past its prime and should be laid to rest.  Even with this feeling, I am fully aware of the difficulty this would cause throughout all of baseball.  Some pitchers get to the majors and haven’t hit since high school.  Colleges and minor league teams use the DH and unless they were a standout at the plate as well in college, the odds are they haven’t hit much by the time they get to the majors.  Would I like to see the DH disappear?  Yes.  Do I think it is going to happen?  No.  It will at least give us something to argue over each winter.

What do you think should happen?  Do you like the DH, or would you rather see the pitcher hit in both leagues?


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There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971


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