SBD/March 31, 2014/MLB Season Preview

Record 15 Teams Have Opening Day Payroll Of At Least $100M, Five Exceeding $150M

A record 15 MLB teams have an Opening Day payroll of at least $100M, "including five exceeding" $150M, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Nightengale: "Here's where the industry stands: The Yankees spent $500 million on free agents, lowered their payroll -- and were lauded for their business acumen." Meanwhile, the Dodgers, who have an $8.35B deal with TWC SportsNet LA, with 3 million tickets already sold this season, could have a $500M payroll "without blinking." It is "no wonder" they have $216.5M "already on the books for next year," with another $182M in '16. Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten said, "There has been criticism inside baseball, but that's OK. We're supposed to be contenders every year. We're the Dodgers" (USA TODAY, 3/31). Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Scott Miller notes six of the nine "highest-payroll clubs in baseball entering last season were sitting at home in October," but three of the five clubs with the "lowest payrolls in the game in 2013 were playing in October." It is the "success of clubs such as the Rays and A's that lead even those with limited funds to think baseball remains a mostly egalitarian endeavor" (USA TODAY, 3/31).

PAYROLL NOTE: Figures listed below are for the 856 players on Opening Day rosters and disabled lists. Deferred payments and incentive clauses are not included. Team payrolls do not include money paid or received in trades or players released (USA TODAY, 3/31).

'14 MLB OPENING DAY PAYROLLS
NO. TEAM PAYROLL
1) Dodgers $241,128,402
2) Yankees $208,830,659
3) Phillies $187,621,056
4) Tigers $163,078,526
5) Red Sox $154,380,395
6) Giants $148,239,158
7) Nationals $134,366,735
8) Rangers $132,491,596
9) Blue Jays $129,427,700
10) Angels $128,046,500
11) Reds $112,378,771
12) D-Backs $111,798,833
13) Cardinals $108,020,360
14) Brewers $102,724,338
15) Orioles $105,084,121
16) Rockies $99,579,071
17) Braves $97,855,673
18) Royals $90,481,500
19) Padres $89,881,695
20) White Sox $89,551,982
21) Mariners $89,539,642
22) Twins $84,912,500
23) Mets $84,281,011
24) Indians $82,500,800
25) Rays $82,035,490
26) Pirates $77,845,999
27) A's $77,220,900
28) Cubs $74,546,356
29) Astros $44,985,800
30) Marlins $41,836,900
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