The Most Cost Efficient Team in the Majors
We know that some MLB owners can pinch a penny with the best of them – from low payrolls (or cutting payroll in some instances) to advertisements on any surface, teams like to maximize the amount of money they make.
In preparing my most recent Power Rankings, I got to thinking about how much a win costs the Philadelphia Phillies. It expanded to which team gets the most for it’s money?
The most efficient team as far as Dollars per Win is the Pittsburgh Pirates. As of Monday morning, the Pirates have 64 wins and a payroll of $51,932,333; that’s equal to $811,443 per win. They are followed by the cost-conscience Athletics ($866,770 per win) and Rays ($1,026,245 per win). Rounding out the top 5 are 2 sub-par teams – the San Diego Padres ($1,090,625) and the Cleveland Indians ($1,234,534)
At the other end of the spectrum is the Phillies. Their opening day payroll of $172,093,902 has only produced 52 wins, good for $3,309,498 per win. That more than 4 times the amount the Pirates have spent per win. That’s also the reason the Phillies have traded away contracts (Hunter Pence) and/or pending free agents (Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino).
The Yankees have the second highest dollar per win. They, unlike the Phillies, are having a good season and have the highest payroll in the game (by almost $35 million). Each win has cost the Steinbrenners $3,131,237.
Third highest is the Red Sox at $3,074,546; like the Phillies, the Red Sox owners must be disappointed.
The Angels ($2,523,017) and Cubs ($2,484,455) round out the bottom five.
The general trend I have found is no matter the amount of wins, the lower payroll teams tend to have the lower cost per win. I was expecting more of the teams with few wins would have a higher cost per win. I was specifically thinking that about the Cubs (which held true), Astros (who are middle of the pack), the Twins (which proved true), and the Royals (which didn’t pan out). Another team that it did hold true for was the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies, at 22, had an opening day payroll of $81,135,571; this was the lowest team that didn’t have a 9-figure payroll.
Just for fun, I also did this exercise for each team’s Pythagorean Record. It was pretty much the same; the Indians dropped from 5th to 10th, with the Diamondbacks taking 5th. The bottom was exactly the same. The biggest difference between actual $/W and Pythagorean $/W was the Orioles; a win costs the Orioles $1.356MM when it should cost them $1.619MM. The Marlins are next with a difference of $244,972. The Red Sox are the opposite; their actual wins cost $3.074MM when they should cost $2.813 (difference of $261,475). The Cardinals are next with a difference of $126,420.
Here is the full table:
|Boston Red Sox||$175,249,119||57||$3,074,546||62||$2,813,071|
|Chicago White Sox||$97,669,500||62||$1,575,315||64||$1,531,398|
|San Diego Padres||$55,621,900||51||$1,090,625||51||$1,082,726|
|San Francisco Giants||$131,355,298||63||$2,085,005||62||$2,131,126|
|Toronto Blue Jays||$83,739,200||54||$1,550,726||56||$1,488,205|