Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book

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Baseball Evaluation

2013 Team Payroll Value Index
2013 Team Payroll Value 2012

Team Payroll Value Index 2013
Opening Day Rosters

Rank Team Actual Payroll SPRO Payroll VMI%
1 Tampa Bay Rays $56,293,072 $100,146,000 177.9%
2 Houston Astros $19,081,200 $27,733,000 145.3%
3 Miami Marlins $32,599,000 $46,874,000 143.8%
4 Milwaukee Brewers $79,793,444 $110,654,000 138.7%
5 Toronto Blue Jays $115,545,600 $150,698,000 130.4%
6 Arizona Diamondbacks $88,105,500 $110,141,000 125.0%
7 Cincinnati Reds $106,998,805 $126,747,000 118.5%
8 Kansas City Royals $78,915,800 $92,664,000 117.4%
9 Atlanta Braves $87,305,692 $94,252,000 108.0%
10 Texas Rangers $99,860,700 $107,387,000 107.5%
11 Oakland Athletics $39,299,500 $41,789,000 106.3%
12 Detroit Tigers $146,920,000 $153,522,000 104.5%
13 St. Louis Cardinals $112,755,086 $117,654,000 104.3%
14 Seattle Mariners $62,536,943 $64,594,000 103.3%
15 Washington Nationals $112,056,769 $115,427,000 103.0%
16 Pittsburgh Pirates $77,554,000 $79,240,000 102.2%
17 Baltimore Orioles $82,153,000 $80,739,000 98.3%
18 Minnesota Twins $72,805,000 $71,200,000 97.8%
19 Los Angeles Angels $127,896,250 $124,748,000 97.5%
20 San Francisco Giants $139,773,834 $135,992,000 97.3%
21 Cleveland Indians $75,777,700 $72,827,000 96.1%
22 San Diego Padres $65,655,700 $62,767,000 95.6%
23 Colorado Rockies $70,453,071 $66,247,000 94.0%
24 New York Mets $71,393,409 $66,692,000 93.4%
25 Philadelphia Phillies $164,895,714 $147,322,000 89.3%
26 Boston Red Sox $150,157,500 $119,517,000 79.6%
27 Chicago White Sox $116,695,777 $92,788,000 79.5%
28 Los Angeles Dodgers $213,606,077 $164,513,000 77.0%
29 Chicago Cubs $99,313,676 $75,703,000 76.2%
30 New York Yankees $226,832,190 $163,769,000 72.2%

Note: Team Payroll Value Index reflects ranking of Actual 2013 Major League Baseball Payroll on opening day versus SPRO Salary Projection values for the same players on the Opening Day roster.  SPRO takes into account Servicer Time, EXPEQ, PEVA, RAVE, and SPRO RAVE.  Source: Actual Payroll, USA Today Salary Database.  (Some teams in database did not list all players on Opening Day Roster)

Team Payroll Value Index - 2013

April 9, 2013 - We're only a little over one week into the baseball season and some trends are starting to emerge.  Oh, they are not trends that will necessarily last all year, as some teams that are playing poorly will rebound and others that are off to meteoric heights will come back to earth.  Contracts have been given out, even though it really took too long for Kyle Lohse to get a deal, and some teams got good value for the money spent, and others, well, they did not, at least from the vantage point of the start of the season.  So let's get into the details on who we thought are spending their money wisely, or who would make a good addition to the staff at the federal government.

The Team Payroll Value Index from compares the actual money spent with the Salary Projection model estimates (SPRO), in order to come up with an index that takes stock of the salaries handed out, ranking them in the order of their effectiveness.  This does not represent who is the best team.  Low payroll or high payroll, you can spend your money well.  Good team or bad team, you can do the same.

Top Five
1. Tampa Bay Rays - It's getting to be a habit, and one that the Billy Beane crowd on the west coast might be surprised at, but the Tampa Bay Rays are again the best spending team in baseball.  Yes, they build through the draft.  Yes, they let players walk who they don't think will be worth what they have to pay them, i.e. B.J. Upton this year.  And they pay those they want to keep in a judicious way, i.e. Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist.  Longoria is being paid $2.5m this year, but is worth $10.1, even considering his service time, and Zobrist should be paid $12.25m, but is getting $5.7m.  Now, it's a hard pull and tug, as the negotiations after this season for extending Cy Young winner David Price will attest, but the Tampa Bay office is making a whole lot of the right calls in the payroll department, all while maintaining a competitive club.  Congratulations, guys.  Now if they could only figure out how to fill the stadium with fans.

2.  Houston Astros - Sure, they're in here at number two, but we're not stating that this is any way to run an airline or a space station.  The reason for getting value for money when you spend none, is that emerging players being paid a little will outperform that little.  And when you plug in a veteran player like Carlos Pena, who'd have trouble finding starting work somewhere else, but wants it, even at a bargain price, you get value.  The Astros will win more games than people think this year, but that's only because they don't think they'll win very many.  Good news for Astros fans, is that the farm system is filled with the remnants of trading away players.  Just wait till Jonathan Singleton makes it to the club.

3.  Miami Marlins - See the rationale above, but this situation is even worse.  If you build it, the front office in Miami will, at first, spend like drunken sailors on players who did not have the value they were spending and get a bad club the next season to boot, only to have a firesale when the hangover is over.  No wonder Giancarlo is barking.  Yes, there is some talent in young pitchers and folks they got back in return.  And it may work out in the end, ... they have two World Series victories when others will more traditional builds have none, but for now, they have value for the money spent here. But if you were a Marlin fan, that wouldn't make any of it worthwhile.

4.  Milwaukee Brewers - A good deal of the value here is in contracts to stars that seemed spendy at first, but may turn out to be good deals for their entire term.  For example, Ryan Braun being paid $9.8m this year, but worth $18m and a contract that doesn't get to the worth level till 2016, as long as Braun continues to play as he has and stays off whatever juice is in question.  Similiar could be said for the contract of Aramis Ramirez and Yovani Gallardo.  Well spent at the top end worth of the #4 spot of the VMI list.

5.  Toronto Blue Jays - Now how in the world could a club that went out and traded for, and signed, a ton of star players get into the Top Five.  Well, they traded for a Cy Young Award winner who's only being paid $5m this year and they signed a PED star for a lowish contract for his production level, even though we have doubts that the production was real and will be sustained over a long period of time.  And Edwin Encarnacion, who had that great year last year, is being paid $8m when he's worth nearly $5m more.  That's how you get there. @ Zazzle

Bottom Five
26.  Boston Red Sox - Remember when the Red Sox spent a lot of money, but got a lot of wins for it.  Well, not right now, with contracts to stars that are too high across the board, although to be fair, the only truly bad one is John Lackey at $15,950,00, while worth under $3m.  We're not too sure if the Stephen Drew contract won't be considered that bad in a couple years, ... it's only bad now, but that's unfair before the fact.

27.  Chicago White Sox - Yes, there is a trend in the bottom of the value barrel list.  Big cities with high revenues don't always spend wisely.  In the White Sox side of town case, there's John Danks.  And to a smaller, but rebounding sense, there's Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy.  We're okay with the Paul Konerko numbers though, just to throw a second city bone.

28.  Los Angeles Dodgers - When you intentionally gather contract that others deam poor value, there's no surprise that you show up on this list. Carl Crawford, let go by Tampa Bay (wise spenders) to Boston (bad spenders) to the Dodgers (collecting bad contracts).  Is there a transitive property I've forgotten from those geometry days at play here?  Add in Josh Beckett and Ted Lilly, oh, and who can forget Juan Uribe, and you've got a major problem with spending.  Well, just contemplate how much money they'll eventually give Clayton Kershaw.

29.  Chicago Cubs - Theo has moved from Boston to Chicago and is trying is best to turn the ship around.  Most of the bad contract have been inherited, but ... we're not crazy about the new ones either, such as Edwin Jackson, even though the downside is lower than in the past administration.

New York Yankees - You really only have to site one example,... Alex Rodriguez is being paid more money than the entire 25 man roster of the Houston Astros, has not been playing well in the recent past, and is not playing now at all.  He's being paid $29m, but is worth $8.2m.  Basically everyone on the team, except a few, is being paid more than they're worth.  Robinson Cano is one example of someone on the plus side, but is just starting longer term negotiations.  Why pay Andy Pettite $12m at this stage of his career or Kevin Youkalis at that level either?

For salary projections and player ratings for every player in Major League history, get Stat Geek Baseball PRO.

Payroll Value Index 2013
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Baseball Payrolls

1. Yankees    $ 228,835,490
2. Dodgers    $ 216,597,577
3. Phillies    $ 165,385,714
4. Red Sox    $ 150,655,500
5. Tigers    $ 148,414,500
6. Giants    $ 140,264,334
7. Angels    $ 127,896,250
8. White Sox    $ 119,073,277
9.  Blue Jays    $ 117,527,800
10. Cardinals    $ 115,222,086

Source: USA Today Salary
Database (Team Payroll)

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