Baseball's Rich Are Dominant Again - Buster Olney


"Every year, we've seen one or maybe two teams tear down their roster the way that the Padres have," one high-ranking official said. "But now we're looking at four or five in one year. And teams are doing it [breaking down a roster] more quickly than they used to, which hurts their chances for sustained success. I think the days of the small-market teams going to the playoffs four out of five years are over, unless something changes." Here are the top eight MLB teams in payroll: 1. Yankees: $206 million 2. Mets: $139 million 3. Cubs: $138 million 4. Tigers: $130 million 5. Phillies: $128 million 6. Red Sox: $123 million 7. Angels: $117 million 8. Dodgers: $109 million Of those eight teams, seven would qualify for the postseason if the playoffs were to begin today. (The Cubs lead the NL Central by mere percentage points.) The Mets are the only team on this list that would not qualify." Sky: Personally, I think the huge payroll disparity in baseball is unfair. Also unfair is which teams receive revenue sharing and what they do/don't do with it. There are many small payroll teams who don't need to spend quite that little (Marlins) and many small payroll teams who use their money poorly (Royals). Successful teams with small payrolls should be the ones to receive help, not every small payroll team. And we should be using some measure of revenue potential instead of payroll to counter the cheapskate owners and reward a rich owner who buys a small market team. The list of large payroll teams and how successful they are also points out just how easy it can be to put together a good team if you have money. To think any of those eight front offices are good just because of success is short sighted. Give the Rays, Indians, A's, or Brewers $125M and they'd win 95+ games easily. The Yankees should be winning 105 games every year with their obscene payroll. Given the current rules, I don't fault them for spending that much, but I do fault them for spending that much that inefficiently. I'll also point out that there's a correlation/causation issue at play here. Some of these teams, like the Phillies, Angels, and Dodgers, wouldn't be spending this much money if they weren't this good. If/when they come down out of their current success cycle, payroll will drop as well, as they get things in line for the next charge. Here's one final thought, related to the quote from Olney above. Even if the Padres could afford Jake Peavy, they made the right move by trading him, as he's going to earn what's he worth on the free agent market going forward. Sure, rich teams can afford luxuries like that, but even they would be better served to make deals like that in many cases. Great players do not equal success. Good players at good prices equal success.

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