These 10 teams have the lowest payrolls in Major League Baseball originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Not every Major League Baseball team is capable of spending a quarter of a billion dollars on payroll each season.
Some organizations simply don’t have the revenue streams to compete financially, others are rebuilding and some just might have frugal owners.
Top spenders like the Los Angeles Dodgers ($265.2 million), New York Mets ($262.1 million) and New York Yankees ($252.2 million) are each spending more than $200 million this season on player salary than the team with the league’s lowest payroll: the Baltimore Orioles.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer, the league’s highest paid player this season at $43.3 million, is making nearly the same amount as the Orioles’ entire 26-man roster at $43.43 million.
Despite such financial disparity, the Orioles are competing for a playoff spot while playing in MLB’s toughest division. The same can’t be said for some of the league’s other current penny pinchers.
On Tuesday, Boston Red Sox announcer Dennis Eckersley sounded off about the lineup fielded by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have a payroll just below $66 million.
“You talk about a no-name lineup. There’s no team like this,” Eckersley said. “I’d love to see some of the service time when you add it all up. It’s not much. We just came from Kansas City, seeing all of those young kids. This is different, though. Doesn’t it seem different?”
“This is a hodgepodge of nothingness,” he added. “It’s ridiculous, it really is. Pathetic.”
Those words were a shot at the front office of a franchise that has finished with a record above .500 just four times over the last three decades…and perennially has one of the league’s lowest payrolls.
Here are the teams that currently have the lowest payrolls in baseball.
Which teams have the bottom 10 payrolls in baseball?
(All payroll information courtesy of Spotrac)
10. Cincinnati Reds
Payroll: $112.9 million
Highest-paid player: Joey Votto, 1B, $25 million
Last season’s payroll: $126.6 million (16 of 30)
9. Seattle Mariners
Payroll: $112.7 million
Highest-paid player: Robbie Ray, SP, $21 million
Last season’s payroll: $83.8 million (25 of 30)
8. Kansas City Royals
Payroll: $92 million
Highest-paid player: Salvador Perez, C, $18 million
Last season’s payroll: $91.6 million (21 of 30)
7. Tampa Bay Rays
Payroll: $90.8 million
Highest-paid player: Kevin Kiermaier, CF, $12.2 million
Last season’s payroll: $70.8 million (26 of 30)
6. Arizona Diamondbacks
Payroll: $84.6 million
Highest-paid player: Madison Bumgarner, SP, $23 million
Last season’s payroll: $91.2 million (22 of 30)
5. Miami Marlins
Payroll: $82.7 million
Highest-paid player: Avisail Garcia, OF, $12 million
Last season’s payroll: $58.2 million (27 of 30)
4. Cleveland Guardians
Payroll: $66.2 million
Highest-paid player: Jose Ramirez, 3B, $22 million
Last season’s payroll: $50.7 million (29 of 30)
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
Payroll: $65.9 million
Highest-paid player: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, $10 million; Felipe Vazquez, RP, $10 million
Last season’s payroll: $54.4 million (28 of 30)
2. Oakland Athletics
Payroll: $47.8 million
Highest-paid player: Chad Pinder, OF, $2.7 million
Last season’s payroll: $90.4 million (23 of 30)
1. Baltimore Orioles
Payroll: $43.4 million
Highest-paid player: Jordan Lyles, SP, $6 million
Last season’s payroll: $42.4 million (30 of 30)
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