FanShot

MLB payroll analysis, from the PD

The PD today has an article analyzing MLB payrolls every year since the strike (1996-2008) and looking at what team got their money's worth based on what they spent. They graded each team's win total relative to their payroll on a scale from A to F. In three of those years (1996, 2005, 2007) the Tribe exceeded what their payroll expected them to do (given a grade of B) and the rest of the time they performed about what was expected (C). They had no D's or F's. Their rankings put the Indians third in the AL, behind the A's (of course) and Twins, while the Tigers finished dead last. The Yankees and Red Sox were ranked in the middle of the AL teams. The article also looks at the relationship between payroll and wins. Their analysis found that about a fourth of the variation in the number of victories could be explained by payroll. Other factors they mentioned included injuries, career years by individual players and a strong collection of younger (less-expensive) players. Some of the other points they made were: • 79 percent of the playoff teams ranked in the top half of the annual payrolls. • 12 of the 13 world titles went to teams ranked in the top half of payrolls (the exception was the 2003 Florida Marlins). • While 2008 was unusual in that the teams with the top three payrolls (the Yankees, Tigers and Mets) did not make the playoffs, the teams ranked fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth did make it to postseason play. • Teams ranked in the top five in pay accounted for 38 of the 104 playoff teams. That's more than the combined total of the playoff appearance for the 19 teams ranked from 12th through 30th (36 playoff appearances). • Six World Series titles went to teams ranked in the top five in payroll. That's almost equal to all the other teams combined. I thought it was a very interesting analysis and the type of work not usually seen in the PD. It will be interesting to see the comments that will be made about the article; probably a lot of whining that Dolan is cheap or that the author is a "Shappy" (do they still use that term?).

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