MLB teams have made over $1.2 billion in salary commitments so far this offseason, according to data compiled by MLBTR. The seven most aggressive teams have combined for $828MM in commitments this winter. In other words, the Red Sox, Nationals, Phillies, White Sox, Tigers, Yankees and Dodgers are responsible for 68.5% of MLB spending to date.
It's not unusual for a small group of teams to be responsible for a large percentage of spending and it's certainly not unusual for the Red Sox and Yankees to be among the biggest spenders in the game. So far baseball's 30 teams have committed $1.209 billion this offseason*. That figure is sure to rise once high profile free agents like Rafael Soriano, Adrian Beltre, Carl Pavano and Adam LaRoche sign.
This is by no means a final look at offseason spending – the entire 2011 portion of the offseason lies ahead. But just as it's interesting to examine player stats midway through the season, it's worth checking out spending trends before the final totals are tallied.
The entire list of offseason commitments is below, along with an explanation of which deals count and which deals don't. First, here are a handful of observations about the data:
- Just because teams aren't spending doesn't mean they can't or won't spend. It sounds obvious, but fans in New York and Toronto can reasonably expect the Mets and Blue Jays to spend when they believe they have a chance to contend.
- Who would have guessed that the Rangers and Angels would only have made a combined $30.1MM in commitments at this point in the winter?
- Yes, Florida traded a star second baseman away last month. But that hasn't stopped the normally frugal Marlins from out-spending big market teams like the Cubs, Mets and Braves.
- There's a considerable dropoff from the Dodgers (7th with $90.18MM) to the Cardinals (8th with 42.35MM).
- The mean (average) is $40.28MM per team.
- The median (middle number) is $19.025MM.
Here are the details on each team's spending so far this winter:
- Boston Red Sox – $172MM ($142MM contract for Carl Crawford, $12.5MM option for David Ortiz, $12MM contract for Bobby Jenks, $3MM contract for Dan Wheeler, $2MM contract for Jason Varitek, $455K option for Scott Atchison)
- Washington Nationals – $128.5MM ($126MM contract for Jayson Werth, $1.5MM contract for Rick Ankiel, $1MM contract for Chien-Ming Wang)
- Philadelphia Phillies – $125.5MM ($120MM contract for Cliff Lee, $5.5MM contract for Jose Contreras)
- Chicago White Sox – $120.25MM ($56MM contract for Adam Dunn, $37.5MM contract for Paul Konerko, $13MM contract for Jesse Crain, $8MM contract for A.J. Pierzynski, $3MM option for Matt Thornton, $1.75MM extension for Omar Vizquel, $1MM option for Ramon Castro)
- Detroit Tigers – $99.25MM ($50MM contract for Victor Martinez, $16.5MM contract for Joaquin Benoit, $11.5MM extension for Brandon Inge, $11.25MM contract for Jhonny Peralta, $10MM contract for Magglio Ordonez)
- New York Yankees – $93MM ($51MM contract for Derek Jeter, $30MM contract for Mariano Rivera, $8MM contract for Pedro Feliciano, $4MM contract for Russell Martin)
- Los Angeles Dodgers – $90.18MM ($33MM extension for Ted Lilly, $21MM contract for Juan Uribe, $12MM contract for Hiroki Kuroda, $12MM contract for Matt Guerrier, $5MM contract for Jon Garland, $3.5MM contract for Rod Barajas, $2MM contract for Vicente Padilla, $1MM contract for Dioner Navarro, $680K contract for Tony Gwynn)
- St. Louis Cardinals – $42.35MM ($16.5MM contract for Jake Westbrook, $16MM option for Albert Pujols, $8MM contract for Lance Berkman, $1.1MM contract for Gerald Laird, $750K contract for Brian Tallet)
- Cincinnati Reds – $41.75MM ($35MM extension for Bronson Arroyo, $3MM contract for Ramon Hernandez, $2MM contract for Miguel Cairo, $1.75MM option for Jonny Gomes)
- Colorado Rockies – $40MM ($32MM contract for Jorge de la Rosa, $8MM contract for Ty Wigginton)
- San Francisco Giants – $29.5MM ($22MM contract for Aubrey Huff, $6.5MM contract for Miguel Tejada, $1MM contract for Pat Burrell)
- Florida Marlins – $27.5MM ($18MM contract for John Buck, $7MM contract for Javier Vazquez, $2.5MM contract for Randy Choate)
- Chicago Cubs – $26.1MM ($14.6MM option for Aramis Ramirez, $10MM contract for Carlos Pena, $1.5MM contract for Kerry Wood)
- Los Angeles Angels – $23MM ($15MM contract for Scott Downs, $8MM contract for Hisanori Takahashi)
- Minnesota Twins – $19.55MM ($9MM contract plus $5.3MM bid for Tsuyoshi Nishioka, $5.25MM option for Jason Kubel)
- Oakland A’s – $18.5MM ($6MM option for Mark Ellis, $5.75MM option for Coco Crisp $4.25MM contract for Hideki Matsui, $1.5MM contract for Rich Harden, $1MM contract for Brandon McCarthy)
- Pittsburgh Pirates – $17.75MM ($8MM contract for Kevin Correia, $5MM contract for Lyle Overbay, $4.25MM contract for Matt Diaz, $500K contract for Scott Olsen)
- Arizona Diamondbacks – $17.45MM ($10MM contract for J.J. Putz, $2.7MM contract for Geoff Blum, $2MM contract for Melvin Mora, $1.75MM contract for Xavier Nady, $1MM contract for Henry Blanco)
- San Diego Padres – $16.4MM ($11.5MM contract for Orlando Hudson, $4MM contract for Aaron Harang, $900K contract for Dustin Moseley)
- New York Mets – $14.8MM ($11MM option for Jose Reyes, $2.5MM contract for D.J. Carrasco, $1.3MM contract for Ronny Paulino)
- Seattle Mariners – $10.5MM ($7MM contract for Miguel Olivo, $2.5MM contract for Jack Cust, $1MM contract for Erik Bedard)
- Texas Rangers – $7.1MM ($6.25MM contract for Yorvit Torrealba, $850K contract for Matt Treanor)
- Baltimore Orioles – $5.58MM ($3MM contract for Koji Uehara, $1.5MM contract for Cesar Izturis, $1.08MM contract for Jeremy Accardo)
- Atlanta Braves – $5.15MM ($2.5MM option for Alex Gonzalez, $1.45MM contract for Eric Hinske, $1.2MM contract for George Sherrill)
- Houston Astros – $4.625MM ($3MM contract for Bill Hall, $900K option for Jason Michaels, $725K contract for Ryan Rowland-Smith)
- Kansas City Royals – $3.75MM ($2.5MM contract for Jeff Francoeur, $1.25MM contract for Melky Cabrera)
- Toronto Blue Jays – $3.5MM ($2.5MM contract for Edwin Encarnacion, $1MM option for Jose Molina)
- Milwaukee Brewers – $2.18MM ($1.4MM contract for Craig Counsell, $780K contract for Wil Nieves)
- Tampa Bay Rays – $2MM ($1.1MM contract for J.P. Howell, $900K contract for Joel Peralta)
- Cleveland Indians – $1.3MM ($1.3MM contract for Austin Kearns)
*Totals based on free agent contracts, extensions signed by players on the brink or free agency, options exercised this offseason and one international signing. Minor league deals are excluded.
Vizquel, Inge and Lilly signed extensions on the brink of free agency; their extensions count above, as does Arroyo's deal with the Reds. Troy Tulowitzki, Jay Bruce and Ricky Nolasco signed extensions long before free agency and their extensions don’t count here. The Twins’ bid for and contract with Nishioka count. All options exercised this offseason count except the options for Adrian Gonzalez, Omar Infante and David DeJesus. Those three players were traded after their teams picked up their options. Some teams, like the Brewers, have added payroll by trading for players, but those acquisitions do not show up here.
Using different cutoffs, Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball recently calculated that total payroll allocation for free agents is now over $1 billion this offseason.