Thursday, November 13, 2008

2008 MLB Payrolls by position

You know, it's hard starting a blog. You try to find a voice, try to find a middle ground. I don't know enough math to be a stathead (though I am interested in it), and I don't know enough people inside the organization to be a breaking news site. So I work with what I can. I'm a guy who is moderately entertaining, and already with another full-time job, but I still want to bring some fresh commentary to the Astros - a team mostly overlooked...in the NL Central. We do what we can.

But today we are going to look at how the Astros have divvied up their payroll among the positions: Pitchers, Catchers, Infielders, Outfielders - and how it compares to the other 30 Major League teams.

Now before we start, a note. These are the 2008 payrolls at the end of the 2008 season. So Manny's salary belongs to the Dodgers. Jason Bay's belongs to the Red Sox. CC Sabathia's belongs to the Brewers. All salary information comes from ESPN's team roster page. September Call-ups are not included.

Okay.

Pitching Staff:
Astros: $33,557,000
MLB Rank: 16th
NL Rank: 8th
MLB Average: $36,098,400

Catchers:
Astros: $2,795,000
MLB Rank: 18th
NL Rank: 7th
MLB Average: $5,451,460

Infielders:
Astros: $43,661,400
MLB Rank: 2nd
NL Rank: 1st
MLB Average: $23,412,668

Outfielders:
Astros: $14,292,000
MLB Rank: 16th
NL Rank: 8th
MLB Average: $19,458,090

So some notes - first, note how cheap our outfield is. Bourn and Pence are CHEAP, like the budgie. Second, the Astros have a stinking expensive infield - only the Yankees paid more for their infield.

Now no payroll is created equal. Since the Rays and the Yankees exist in the same division, we can break this down further by percentage of payroll distribution. 25 out of the 30 teams spent more on pitching than any other part of their team. The five who didn't? The Yankees, Pirates, Nationals, A's and Astros. And you see how well that worked out for them.

Of the eight 2008 playoff teams, all of them spent more than 34% of their payroll on their pitching staff. Five of them (Cubs, Angels, Brewers, Phillies and Rays) spent more than 40% of their payroll on pitching, and a sixth - the Dodgers - spent 39.7% of their payroll on pitching. And the Phillies spent 46.1% and the Rays 44.4% of their payroll on pitching.

More later...

2 comments:

One Brave Soul said...

At least the Astros will have one of the most expensive infields in Major League Baseball. How is middle of the road as far as money spent on all other positions but almost doubling the league average is sure to make one's head spin. Now granted they committed the fewest errors in the National League last year, but who are they???? I only can really think of one superstar in that mix, and that is the Big Puma. Kaz Matsui was a good pick up if he can handle his anal fissures issue. Don't even get me started on Miguel "AARP" Tejada. He is just waiting for his Medicaid check to clear to get more steroids. I actually think Wigginton did a surprisingly nice job considering he was left for dead after getting out of New York. (but how many times can we say that about a player?) The tall and short of it, I think it's crazy that only the Yankees have paid more for their basemen, and there is no way they could come close to matching A-Rod and Jeter numbers, not to mention Giambi too. That means they lead the pack on the back of a guy they call Elvis. (who could quite possibly be the most underrated player in Major League Baseball) Plus the fact they spent $10 million dollars less on their pitching than on all other positions. Last time I checked it was a pitcher's game...

On a positive note, it looks like the off-season has looked very promising by attracting foreign flavor to the locker room, something I felt they were lacking in a serious way. The amicably named J-Lo and Viciedo would be a nice fit. Another glaring need is getting someone that can produce in the outfield. With the possibility of losing Pence and Bourn, they will need to get a firestarter on offense, and particularly one that doesn't strike out as often as you know who. Okay, so he might not strike out too often but he certainly hits weak fly balls. For some reason Bourn wants to be a power hitter and I never understood that. It is the little-big man complex to a tee. Rickey had it, but he could back it up with some power.

I will talk about how Rickey has destroyed the very position he thrived at for so long in my next installment.

Ty said...

"...particularly one that doesn't strike out as often as you know who."

Preston Wilson?