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Putting the Money in Moneyball

Some say the money in baseball (or in sports in general) is getting out of hand. So I did some research and came up with some startling figures that puts the money in moneyball. I leave it to you to decide if it is out of hand, out of sight or not even on your mind and leave your comments below.

The cumulative salaries of all 30 MLB teams at the opening of the 2014 season was $3.4 billion. In the 2014 season, 114 players are guaranteed a salary for the year of at least $10 million. This in turn makes the average big league salary in 2014 $4 million. Not to mention the fact that 15 teams have an opening day payroll in excess of $100 million.

Let’s look at a trend in baseball as it relates to money and individual player figures that are a result of that trend. The trend is that in 2013 only 5 MLB players received contract extensions of 6 years or more, but, just since January 1st of this year 12 players have received contract extensions of 6 years or more. Furthermore, there are currently 2 MLB players who have signed contracts that guarantee them income from their perspective teams until the year 2024. These two players are Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto. Cabrera’s contract has an average annual value(average value per year) of $31 million, the highest in the game. Clayton Kershaw also received an extension of more than 6 years this off-season in the amount of $215 million over 7 years, making him the National League leader in average annual value just behind Cabrera at $30.7 million per year.

As far as the highest paid players for this season from each league; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners is making $24 million, while in the National League Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke holds the honor with $28 million. As you may have guessed, the team that employees both the aforementioned Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers, has this year highest total payroll with $241.1 million. It is the first year since 1998 that a team other than the Yankees has had the highest payroll in the game. Of the 25 men on their active major league roster 9 of them will be paid in excess of $15 million.

Finally, as a current comparison, the Miami Marlins only have 12 players of their 25 on their active roster making in excess of $1 million. While the Houston Astros have a minuscule 6 of their 25 players making over $1 million.