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Phillies are only playoff team left with payroll over $110 million

Oct 7, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

Money Bag

New York getting bounced from the playoffs last night means that of the 12 teams with payrolls above $100 million this season only the Phillies, Tigers, and Cardinals remain alive.

And if the Phillies lose to the Cardinals tonight that would mean none of the nine highest-payroll teams advanced past the first round.

Here are the payroll and payroll ranks of the six remaining teams, according to USA Today:

2. Phillies – $173 million
10. Tigers – $106 million
11. Cardinals – $105 million
13. Rangers – $92 million
17. Brewers – $85 million
25. Diamondbacks – $53 million

The Yankees ranked first at $203 million and the Rays were 29th at $41 million.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    The way the U.S. economy is going, don’t be surprised to see these numbers shrink dramatically in the next few years. You can’t keep paying these crazy amounts with fewer butts in the seats, TV contract or no TV contract.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      5th most butts in the seats ever in 2011 and the mos since 08.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      Actually, you can, as long as some teams (the Phillies among them) are willing to spend the cash, and still have lots of butts in seats (and lots of eyeballs on their local TV broadcasts). The economy has been down for 3 years, and MLB isn’t demanding that spending be seriously cut.

      If they were trying to get serious payroll reductions, MLB owners would go the route of other leagues’ owners and try to break the players’ union. Salary caps in the NFL, NBA, and NHL followed work stoppages, and the NBA may lose its entire season because owners demand a major salary cap cut. MLB owners aren’t going that route.

    • uberfatty - Oct 7, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      Good old HB, never lets facts get in the way of an opinion.

  2. delawarephilliesfan - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Yes, but those numbers are before the Phillies sign CC Sabathia

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    This is meaningless to the notion that a salary cap AND revenue sharing is needed in baseball. Just because high-salaried teams choke in the early rounds does not mean baseball has more parity than football. When half your league is out of the playoffs by April, it’s a bad system. Don’t quote me champions either…champions is about as meaningless to this debate as a third tit. # of teams who have a shot at the beginning of the season is what is important…not # of different champions the last 20 years.

    • paperlions - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      You hit the nail on the head with the “1/2 the league is out of the playoffs in April” part…that is the problem…it may not be the exact same 1/2 of the league every year…but it almost is….money allows you sustained success, without it…you have to hope to catch lightning in a bottle…because you’ll be rebuilding in a couple of years.

    • bigleagues - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      I don’t understand your argument that a salary cap is needed in addition to revenue sharing?

      I can understand an argument for either or, but not both. The type of revenue sharing that currently exists is in place because there is no salary cap.

      Presumably the installation of a salary cap – which gets more and more complicated as more high revenue teams (notice I don’t say ‘large market’ teams) increase payroll and separate from the middle of the pack – would identify an economic mean point and set minimum and maximum payrolls.

      And in all actuality the current rules, in effect, do that via market forces and the luxury tax. The Yankees do have a limit to what they can spend. It happens to be a higher limit than the rest of baseball.

      Ultimately I think what many people would like to see is a hard minimum and a hard maximum. But even if the process started today, it would take several years to get there.

      In the meantime, apparently its not so easy to “buy championships”. Just sayin.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        Because you can’t have a salary cap without some type of revenue sharing. More than what they have now with the luxury tax. Why? Because if you have a salary floor, you can’t expect a team making peanuts to pay that floor without them getting money from the higher-income teams. Everybody shares the wealth and everybody plays under the same, or very similar rules.

        Sure, it won’t be 100% fair. Even in football, you have the haves and have-nots. But it is close enough so that everybody has a shot in September and usually even into October. Shit, the Beagles are 1-3 and they spent money and are the “Dream Team” LOL.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      Ok, then let’s look at teams who haven’t been in the playoffs for more than 5 years, since making the playoffs is what’s important.

      In the NFL, where 37.5% of the league makes the playoffs (12/32):
      Buffalo Bills
      Detroit Lions
      Houston Texans
      Cleveland Browns
      San Francisco 49ers
      Oakland Raiders
      St Louis Rams

      That’s 7 NFL teams who haven’t made the postseason in 5 or more years.

      Now let’s look at MLB, where 26.67% of the league makes the playoffs (6/30):
      Washington Nationals
      Kansas City Royals
      Pittsburgh Pirates
      Toronto Blue Jays
      Baltimore Orioles
      Seattle Mariners
      Florida Marlins
      Houston Astros

      That’s 8 MLB teams who’ve gone more than 5 years without a playoff appearance.

      So despite the fact that a substantially larger percentage of NFL teams get into the playoffs, the number of teams that make the postseason is pretty similar.

      So if having different champions is irrelevant to the parity discussion, surely teams making the postseason isn’t, right?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        I’d rather look at the extremes because those are the fans hit the hardest…it’s fun to cherry pick the last 5 years…but how about going back 15-30 years on those same teams LOL

        Orioles 1997
        Royals 1985
        Blue Jays 1993
        Nationals/Expos 1981
        Pirates 1992

        Those 5 teams haven’t made the playoffs before the last teams in the NFL to make the playoffs…

        Bills 1999 and the Lions 1999

        Every single year, the Royals, Pirates, Nationals/Expos, Blue Jays and Orioles have had ZERO chance of making the playoffs this MILLENIUM. None. Why? Because incompetent GM’s and the fact that baseball is structured in a way that they are simply farm teams for the rest of baseball. Whenever the Royals get good enough to compete the next year, their players are ready to get paid…see Beltran, Damon, etc, etc. The only way these teams have a shot is if they get good drafts, like the Rays, and are able to suck every drop of success out of their young players who also have to mature ASAFP or else they will be gone when they become FAs.

        It’s a BS system. Everybody knows it, but what can be done. Nothing. Oh well. Time for game 5.

      • chadh88 - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        To be fair you should do this for the NHL and NBA too.

      • meteor32 - Oct 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        Since the strike 1/6 of the teams have been irrelevant. It’s a broken system that doesn’t even split gate receipts. Why should a visiting team not get a share of the gate when there is no game without them? The NFL’s 60-40 split is high, but I bet the Orioles and Blue Jays would benefit from getting a portion of all the money they enable the Red Sox and Yankees to make.

      • Mark - Oct 7, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        The Orioles/Royals/Pirates haven’t made it because they have had incompetent management. You can’t on the one hand credit the Rays for getting top pics while blaming the Pirates for not doing anything with them. Unless, of course, there’s more to the Rays success than simply high level draft picks (as Hellickson, Moore, Shields, Jennings, Joyce, and Zobirst alone would show).

        I can’t speak for the Nats, but I can say for the Jays. Their struggles have not been payroll related as they’ve pushed the 100M mark. It’s been about poor management. The few years they have done well it was just that they were facing superior teams in the Sox/Yanks/Rays.

        Money hasn’t been the problem for any of these teams. Salary caps are usually the arguments made by those who don’t understand economics.

      • heynerdlinger - Oct 7, 2011 at 5:48 PM

        This is probably a good place to point out that in the NFL:

        15-1 records aren’t all that unusual
        14-2 or 13-3 records generally happen once or twice a year
        12-4 or 11-5 are pretty common for division winners
        10-6 and you’re probably going to the playoffs

        The very best MLB record in the 162-game era was the 2001 Mariners at 116-46. That record translates into (you guessed it) an 11-5 record over 16 games.

        A 10-6 record translates into a 101-win baseball season.

        In MLB, even the worst teams in a given season aren’t that far from the top. Good management, smart ownership, and a little bit of luck is all it takes to close the gap. As Oakland, and Tampa, and Minnesota, and Cleveland have all shown over the years, it’s not always about the payroll. Let’s not blame the financial system for the faults of incompetent ownership, or dumb contracts. It might be easier for the Yankees to gloss over their mistakes, but that hasn’t stopped the Mets from missing the playoffs, or the Dodgers, or the Angels, or the Red Sox.

  4. xmatt0926x - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    I’d like to see a salary cap just as much as most baseball fans would. But without one I’m happy that my favorite team has the funds available to field a good team each year. I don’t care if all the high salary teams get bounced eventually. The percentages are still with the have’s instead of the have-not’s. If any fan of the small market teams were honest, they’d agree. I know because when the Phillies sucked for 20 years with a small market budget I was one of the “damn those Yankees and their payroll !!!!! ” people.

    • paperlions - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      A cap wouldn’t help….a cap would just divert more money from players to owners…it wouldn’t increase parity and it wouldn’t reduce prices. Revenue sharing would help…..good luck with that….

  5. stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Great to see. Let’s hope after tonight…NONE of the top (9) are still left.
    Fear the Squirrel!

  6. Jonny 5 - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    They’re also the last team left with the best pitcher in baseball ready to take the mound.

    • detiger69 - Oct 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      Hey Jonny 5 – yes Halladay is great but I think an arguement can be made that Verlander was his equal this year.

      • lukeslice - Oct 7, 2011 at 4:48 PM

        Verlander was better this year in just about every statistical category, wasn’t he? And don’t even get me started on AL vs. NL lineups. Also, last I saw, someone ELSE in the NL won the frik-fragging pitching triple crown, didn’t they? (yes)

      • Jeff M. - Oct 7, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        Yes, somebody else did. Go Kershaw!

  7. kinggeorge96 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    and then there were none….

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