Big MLB Spenders Making Moves ...

ortiz and manramAs a few of you noted via email or in the comments, ESPN’s Peter Gammons astutely pointed out last night that all of the MLB division leaders have one thing in common: a high payroll. We wrote a post about this during the All-Star break, but it’s gotten worse in the last couple weeks:

1. New York Yankees $201,449,289 – 1st place in AL East
5. Detroit Tigers $115,085,145 – 1st place in AL Central
6. Los Angeles Angels $113,709,000 – 1st place in AL West
7. Philadelphia Phillies $113,004,048 – 1st place in NL East
9. Los Angeles Dodgers $100,458,101 – 1st place in NL West
13. St. Louis Cardinals $88,528,411 – 1st place in NL Central

If the Cubs (3rd overall in payroll: $135 million) can overtake the Cardinals – currently only .5 games out – then all six division leaders will be among the nine biggest spenders in baseball. (The Mets, who are 2nd in payroll at $135 million, have suffered injuries to three of their top five players, and barring a miracle, will not sniff the postseason.) This doesn’t mean, of course, that there is a direct correlation between spending and success. But it does however, provide more evidence to one of our many wacky (yet obvious) theories: The more you spend, the better your chances are of making the postseason. Still sour on the salary cap?

At the same time, it is worth pointing out that a few thrifty teams remain in the postseason mix:

22. Texas Rangers $68,646,023 – 3.5 games back of Angels
24. Minnesota Twins $65,299,267 – 2 games back of Tigers
25. Tampa Bay Rays $63,313,035 – 7.5 games back of Yankees
30. Florida Marlins $36,814,000 – 6 games back of Phillies

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