2011 Payrolls By Division

Five days ago the Associated Press published 2011 payrolls for the 30 teams based on information sent by the clubs to the commissioner's office.  They explain:

Figures are for 40-man rosters and include salaries and pro-rated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted to reflect present-day values.

$2,999,557,280 was spent in total, so the $100MM or so spent by the Rangers or Mariners is about average.  The Yankees, of course, led with a $216MM figure.  That's 4.85 times the Royals' payroll, which was the lowest at about $45MM.  Maury Brown has quality analysis of over at The Biz of Baseball.  Below I thought it'd be interesting to break down the spending by league and division.

American League: $104.7MM per team

  • AL East: $119.6MM per team
  • AL Central: $90.5MM per team
  • AL West: $103.9MM per team

National League: $95.8MM per team

  • NL East: $105.9MM per team
  • NL Central: $90.8MM per team
  • NL West: $88.5MM per team


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68 Comments on "2011 Payrolls By Division"


joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

lol our payroll is doubtful to go over 50 mil and look at that AL East AVG payroll. Still made the playoffs 3 out of 4 years

diesel2410
3 years 8 months ago

Just imagine what the AL East payroll would be without the Rays in it.

Sad how the Rays are better than the Sox with all the money they have.

batting1000
3 years 8 months ago

Better? 2 titles to 0 in last decade isn’t better….
And the rays are a good club, but it took yes of failure to get those draft picks that made them good….
Give most teams those picks and they wouldn’t need a high payroll either…
Apples and oranges man…dig a little deeper for understanding before you comment

batting1000
3 years 8 months ago

*years

diesel2410
3 years 8 months ago

LOL try the last 4 years. Don’t be bitter because your team can’t make the postseason with all that money. I’d be upset too.

craigkimbrelfan
3 years 8 months ago

105.9 million in the NL East?  We can thank Philly for the inflation on that figure. 

3 years 8 months ago

The Marlins also also pushing the floor up a good deal by themselves. It would be closer to average if they hadn’t gonna on a shopping spree at the Winter Meetings.

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

If you look at it, the contracts are all the same. They back loaded the heck out of all them. They aren’t spending much this year or next and then their payroll is going wayyyyyyy up. I think they did the contracts like that to sign Pujols, whoopsie.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

Taxable payrolls are calculated by AAV, so backloading wouldn’t affect these figures.

3 years 8 months ago

Reyes is getting $10M, Bell $9M, and Buehrle $6M. You’re also looking at a $4M raise for Hanley, since I presume this isn’t factoring his trade bait status. Nolasco and Johnson are also getting raises, but they are mostly getting cancelled out by Vasquez and a few others coming off the books. Still, that’s $30M payroll expansion (or about $6M per team) before they’ve even gone to arb with around a dozen players.

That would push the divisional average to about $100M, so I probably wasn’t all that far off if my napkin math is anywhere near accurate.

FamousGrouse
3 years 7 months ago

I thought backloading the value of contracts was for insurance reasons.

chico65
3 years 8 months ago

I can’t believe the Nats were at only 72MM, given Werthless’ contract. 

jedicouncil
3 years 8 months ago

216 MM for the yankees….Cashman has to be one of the most overated G.M. s ever, can you imagine if he had an 80 MM payroll to work with lol

bayareabeast
3 years 8 months ago

the force is strong with you..and they would be in last place

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Ill say no worse than 4th place. They really would not be worse than the O’s. 

bayareabeast
3 years 8 months ago

its hard to say because the team would be completely different

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

But the O’s wouldn’t be different and I sincerely doubt the Yankees would drop to a 65 or so win team with a lower payroll. You can’t leave out the fact that the top 6 highest paid players on their team make up over half the payroll.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

And if you take those six players (A-Rod, Sabathia, Teixeira, Burnett, Jeter and Cano) they take a massive hit in on field talent.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Cano is not in the top 6, Rivera is. And if you want I’ll do it this way

WAR
A-Rod : 4.2
Sabathia: 7.1
Teixeira:  4.2
Jeter: 2.3
Burnett: 1.5
Rivera: 2.4

Total – 21.7

Round up to 22, so the Yankees if you take away these players and replace them with AAAA players would have been a 75 win team. 2011 Orioles had 69 wins.

I don’t mean to sound like a wise a**, but 75 wins is more than 69 wins.

bayareabeast
3 years 8 months ago

yea because winning games is all about WAR..god i hate that stat. its useful as a guideline, but there are so many things about baseball that cant be gauged by numbers on paper

Vmmercan
3 years 8 months ago

This. These hypotheticals are fun to argue but Yankees’ haters think “take away ____ and they suck” without thinking the only time this would happen would span a few years and, like they did in the days of the reserve clause, the days before FA, the days before revenue sharing/luxury tax, they would have to find a new method.
Not to mention as I previously stated, If you want to pick and choose (which you can do in hypotheticals), A-Rod, Burnett, Soriano and Jeter make what, 70 million? Remove Soriano and Burnett and nothing changes. Remove A-Rod and Jeter, and you can probably replace their production over the next few years for way less than 40-45 million. Plus, if there was a salary cap, guys like Mo would never get 15 million on an open market even though they are great at what they do. It’s a totally unfair statement to make for so many reasons.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago


they would have to find a new method”

In fairness, the Yankees have pretty much always used their monetary advantage as a significant part of their strategy. From buying Babe Ruth’s contract to the days of using the Athletics’ crooked owner as a discount bin for young talent.

Vmmercan
3 years 8 months ago

Just because Harry Frazee wanted to use financial gain for extra-curricular activities and decided to give up his best pitcher for it, does not mean it’s the Yankees’ fault they took the bait. Not to mention, I’m fairly certain those Yankees’ teams might have been decent with or without Ruth. They had some, um, other talent on those teams.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

Just because Harry Frazee was a dolt doesn’t mean the Yankees weren’t utilizing their monetary advantage to get him.

As for the other point: Gherig: money, Meusel: money, Combs: money, Koenig: money, Lazzeri: money.

Yeah, there were some decent players there, I suppose, but every one of them was brought in with money. Combs in particular was the center of a bidding war.

Sunny Starlin Ramirez
3 years 8 months ago

just makes andrew friedman look like a genius. every single year they pick up scraps from other teams and they win over and over again. their payroll is wat, 40 mil?

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Just like what Cashman has done a few time in the past seasons except for 2009 and has managed to win again and again their division? Just in 2011 alone they were the best team in the AL in terms of record.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 8 months ago

Oh come on now it’s the holidays, be a tiny bit generous — give him closer to the MLB average of $100m. I mean, the team would still probably finish in last place but at least he wouldn’t feel cheated.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

I guess you know with the experience from Ned Colletti

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 8 months ago

I’m sure you could explain that remark if I asked what it’s supposed to mean.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Ned Colletti, GM of a big market city, team payroll in the  $100 million mark, and while technically the Dodgers were not a last place team, they’ve been a 2nd to last place team twice and have only won 90 games once. Point is, I don’t think you can argue Colletti is as overrated if not more than Cashman is.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 8 months ago

Ned Colletti, GM of a broke owner. 

1st place in NLW 2006 (payroll $98m, 6th)
NLDS sweep in 2008 (payroll $118m, 8th)
NLDS sweep in 2009 (payroll $100m, 9th)

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

The bankruptcy issue did not happen until 2011. Nice way to leave out the 2007, 2010 and 2011 seasons also. I’m not saying Colletti is a bad GM so don’t get me wrong.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 8 months ago

I did not bring up the bankruptcy issue because it was not relevant to the point I was making. The point I was making is that the Dodgers managed three postseason appearances in four years with a payroll close to the MLB 30-team median. And for the record, the bankruptcy is an irrelevant factor in 2010 and 2011. The relevant factor there was the divorce (filed at the end of the 2009 season) and the fight over the ownership of the team.

Vmmercan
3 years 8 months ago

That’s such a silly statement. He doesn’t have that money to work with so you have no idea how he would do with it. That’s like saying, man, you get all A’s in your classes, imagine how crappy of a student you would be if they were AP.

Vmmercan
3 years 8 months ago

Not to mention, he didn’t even negotiate A-Rod or Soriano’s deals and that’s 40 million on the payroll right there.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago


That’s like saying, man, you get all A’s in your classes, imagine how crappy of a student you would be if they were AP.”

That’s a terrible analogy to make. People do that all the time.

Vmmercan
3 years 8 months ago

And those people are complete and utter steaming piles of idiocy. Now do you get the analogy?

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

So you’ve NEVER met someone who avoided taking AP classes to keep their GPA up?

Believe it or not, sometimes people really DO take the easier way.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Comparing big market GM’s and small market GM’s is apples to oranges. Baseball may not have a payroll limit but it has a player limit. Just like poker, you use your money differently when you have the lowest chips and the highest chips.

Am I saying Cashman is a great GM? Of course not, but to say things like what would he be like with an $80 mil payroll is irrelevant, becuase the Yankees will never have an $80 mil payroll again, and Cashman unless fired will probably remain the Yankees GM for quite a while and probably won’t ever be a GM of a team like the Royals or Orioles.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

just take a look at what he did last season with the ‘garbage’ he picked up, the yankees ended up being better than boston, whose front office spent more than 400 millions to secure the services of Crawford+Adrián González.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Don’t leave out the Phillies (And I will say Amaro JR. is a very good GM) who won the WS with a $85 million payroll, have increased it every year since and is approximately double then what it is when they last won

johnsilver
3 years 8 months ago

wouldn’t blame him for that figure.. His bosses are the ones responsible for most of the most useless ones and not going to name them, lest several NYY fans start complaining..again…

FillyPhan
3 years 8 months ago

Im surprised with the Sox and Yanks as the two highest spender thats the AL East is only $120mm average.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

The Rays being in the division balances it out.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

Trading the Rays to the NL West for the Giants would make for a hilarious disparity.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 8 months ago

Noooooooooo. 

That would make the Dodgers even more hopeless than they already are. Plus then I have no one to hate in my division

3 years 8 months ago

You’ll always have the Angels to shake your fists at. And the rest of the division is pretty pesky, tbh. Nurture the hate, and it will grow!

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 8 months ago

Well I love to hate the Giants. One of the greatest rivalries in sports. The Angels just aren’t that exciting to me. It’s probably because there’s not a whole lot going on when you go to an Angels game. The crowd just isn’t that energetic, and although the fans seem mostly knowledgable, they have little intensity. Dodgers, Giants games are filled with intensity and energy. They’re awesome to be a part of.

CAD_Monkey
3 years 8 months ago

I’m already disappointed that because of the Kubel signing, we won’t see Gerardo Parra as much when the D-Backs come to town.

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

People would still find a way to call us underdogs and be shocked when we make the playoffs. Truth is, we keep proving, we are one of the better teams and either East would be hard to win (although we’ve done twice in 4 years), the other divisions, we would run away with. That AL West is top heavy these days, imagine the Rays in either Central….

Hodor
3 years 8 months ago

I would LOVE to see a complete realignment of leagues to balance things out, although I know it is wishful thinking.  How about this:
AL East
Yankees, Mets, Sox, Phillies, Jays
NL East
Braves, Nationals, Orioles, Rays, Marlins

Now that would make things interesting…GO RAYS!

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

Love it. Heh, the Mets might break the own record for losses in that division.

Joveoak
3 years 8 months ago

You mean the modern era record of 120 losses in one season?

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 8 months ago

 Those poor Jays.

Hodor
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, I know.  My thinking with the Jays is more location driven than anything else.  Otherwise with the way they are spending you could put the Marlins in that division.

DragonLord
3 years 8 months ago

Oh yeah, just switch the Jays and the Marlins and that’s a pretty good realignment if you ask me. Plus, no way Marlins and Rays could be in the same division. Not enough of the old folks in FL are fans.

3 years 8 months ago

Same story every year: imagine (good team) in the Central.

Brewers pushed back against that characterization this year, but the Twins tanked correspondingly.

3 years 8 months ago

The A’s put in $70MM? Jeez, that numbers halved as of right now, at the very least.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

According to B-R, their 2012 estimated payroll will be $56 million.

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

Imagine if Friedman had Boston’s deep pockets, the kind of team he would put together.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

If anything, having a limited budget is part of what makes Friedman so successful. If you’re only spending like $50MM annually on payroll, it’s kind of hard to misstep on overpaying a guy.

Credit where credit is due for building such a fantastic farm system, but I’d give the bulk of the credit for their success to the coaching staff, who’ve managed to squeeze the most out of retreads like Kotchman, Pena and Farnsworth, guys who’ve been complete disasters elsewhere.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Spot on.

3 years 8 months ago

why Boston, not the Yankees?

batting1000
3 years 8 months ago

You have no idea what you are talking about… If he had that money, the team would be winning every year and would not have landed all the talent from the draft….they have to build their teams differently because of past success or lack of….

3 years 8 months ago

So about $8.5M difference total for AL vs NL.  Some of that likely due to a lack of a team with Yankee like financing.  But I bet some of it has to do with not having a DH to pay as well.

pmhat
3 years 8 months ago

DH was the first thing that came to my mind when looking at the difference 

3 years 8 months ago

So about $8.5M difference total for AL vs NL.  Some of that likely due to a lack of a team with Yankee like financing.  But I bet some of it has to do with not having a DH to pay as well.

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Um, other teams have a lower payroll than both of those teams, and they also happen to play in a division with the 2 highest payrolls in baseball (or 2 of the highest, not sure if Phillies are 2)