Comments on: Mailbag: The 100 Players Making the Highest Percentage of Team Payroll This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Neil L. Fri, 08 Jul 2011 23:06:57 +0000 I'm late to the party here, Neil, but great blog.

David, agreed about Anthopoulos finding a dancing partner for Vernon Wells even if Juan Rivera is designated for assignment. That was a shrewd move by AA.

@3 @4
Kahuna & Neil P., where was the origin of moneyball again? Please refresh my memory. 🙂

By: Open Thread: How the Yanks use their money | River Avenue Blues Fri, 08 Jul 2011 23:01:33 +0000 [...] an interesting piece on the Baseball Reference blog yesterday, Neil Paine looked at the 100 players making the highest percentage of team payroll, and the Yankees are surprisingly not well represented. A-Rod’s $32 million salary is only [...]

By: David Matchett Fri, 08 Jul 2011 17:43:07 +0000 Put Vernon Wells back on the Jays and remove Eric Thames (who I assume is at the minimum) and VW's salary would make up 29.7% of the Toronto payroll. Great trade by Anthopoulos even though Rivera was just released and Francisco (received for Napoli) has been horrible.

By: Steve Fri, 08 Jul 2011 17:02:26 +0000 30 Ha!I'm 39 but I am an old fart.So stay off my lawn!!

By: Morten Jonsson Fri, 08 Jul 2011 15:09:01 +0000 @36 This is the game you're thinking of:
Willie Mays hit a home run off Spahn in the bottom of the 16th to break a scoreless tie, as both Spahn and Marichal went the distance. Spahn, who was forty-two years old, had pitched 27 consecutive scoreless innings to that point. He took his normal turn four days later and pitched a shutout.

By: stan cook Fri, 08 Jul 2011 14:30:11 +0000 #27. Didn't Marichal and Spahn possibly pitch a mutual 15 inning game at some point. I may have the pitchers wrong. Let me think about it. Somebody else will probably remember.

By: Mailbag: The 100 Players Making the Highest Percentage of Team Payroll » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 14:20:07 +0000 [...] Posted by Spooty at 10:20 am Daily Links [...]

By: Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest » Blog Archive » Jeter Interview from ’92, Payroll Pork, Topps Traded, Kay’s Conspiracy Fri, 08 Jul 2011 12:50:44 +0000 [...] Baseball-Reference put out a list of the 100 players making the highest percentage of their team’s payroll. [...]

By: Hozchelaga Fri, 08 Jul 2011 04:05:59 +0000 BSK @ 10

Some thoughts on your interesting table. Starting with the premise that:

1. Each team has a limited amount of money available for player salaries;

2. Each team will lose players to injury; and

3. Some of each team's players lost to injury will be the players on the list above (the 'top earners'),

we might be interested to know how much risk each team has invested in their top earners.

We can see this by measuring the top earner's salary against the total team salary (per the original list). We can also do it by measuring the sum of the salaries of the group of top earners on a team against the total team salary (per your list).

Another way to do it, and using your table, is to determine the average proportion of a team's salary that would be lost if one of the team's top earners were lost to injury for the season (= percentage of team salary earned by team's top earners / the number of top earners). Here's the result:


Indians 18.33
Mets 16.20
Angels 16.00
Padres 15.50
Rockies 15.33
Cubs 15.00
Brewers 15.00
Mariners 15.00
Rangers 14.00
Cardinals 13.50
Twins 13.25
Nationals 13.25
Tigers 13.00
Yankees 13.00
Giants 13.00
Blue Jays 13.00
Pirates 12.50
Reds 12.40
Astros 12.25
Orioles 12.00
Dodgers 12.00
Marlins 11.50
Rays 11.50
Braves 11.00
Royals 11.00
Phillies 10.67
Diamondbacks 10.33
White Sox 10.20
Red Sox 10.00

In other words, even though 'only' 55% of the team's salary is tied up in the top earners, the Indians appear to be the most highly-geared. By that I mean that on average, a loss of any of Hafner, Sizemore or Carmona would be a bigger waste of money to the Indians than an average loss any other individual top earner to any other team.

Using the other end of the table, the White Sox have 51% of their team salary tied up in their top earners. That's a greater proportion than 19 other teams, so they're clearly heavily invested at the top of the market. However, their 51% is spread across five guys (Peavy, Buehrle, Konerko, Dunn, Rios), so their average throw-away is 10.20%.

Maybe that's just a long-winded way of saying, "even if you have a lot of money to spend at the top end of town, you'd still be wise spread it around".

(And of course, the 'top earners' are arbitrarily determined by the list cut-off, so this is probably meaningless).

By: -mark Fri, 08 Jul 2011 03:28:23 +0000 Does explain a lot about the Mariners, though. Ichiro, Bradley, Hernandez and Figgins make up 60% of the payroll. Combine the WAR of the three batters and you get a total of -0.7 for this year. Only Felix is in the hunt. Maybe they should write a book?