This is a repost from the “Pepper” series earlier today, but it is just too good not to have its own forum

Those of you that are regulars in this little corner of the interwebs know we never bitch about payroll. Almost exactly two years ago, we did one of our only posts on the subject, in which we compared the salaries of the starting lineups for a late-season Devil Rays-Yankees matchup. At the time, the Rays were 30.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. The payrolls for the starting lineups on that night were $7.6 million for the Rays and $127.7 million for the Yankees, for a difference of $120.1 million.

Two years later, the Rays are now 12 games in front of the Yankees. Certainly the payroll discrepancy is less these days…right?

A 42.5 game swing in the standings and the payroll difference is still $125.7 million, $5 milion more than what it was two years ago. That is $174,000 per win for the Rays and $1.9 million per win for the Yankees.

Karma is a bitch and the Yankees are ours.



  1. david says:

    "Karma is a bitch and the Yankees are ours."

    that just made my day

  2. Anonymous says:

    also of note. 4 players in pinstripes make more money than the entire Rays starting lineup tonight

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good comparison, but this is only a comparison of tonight's lineup. How does it look with Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, Rocco Baldelli, Dioner Navarro, and perhaps Scott Kazmir? And how many wins can you say tonight's lineups have garnered?

    Just saying. It will be clearer once the game's over, but it's all New York apples to Florida oranges right now.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i know this is just one night's lineup but what is interesting is to go position-by-position and you would still take most of the Yankees players over their Rays counterpart.

    Yankees (Pudge, Cano, ARod, Nady, Abreu, Matsui)

    Rays (Pena, Upton)

    Push/Arguable (Bartlett-Jeter, Garza-Mussina)

  5. Buck Foston says:

    Crawford 5.25m
    Longoria 0.5m
    Baldelli 2.3m
    Kazmir 3.8m

    still not much

  6. Buck Foston says:

    sorry. i forgot Navarro's: $413K

  7. Schlotzy says:

    i think the Rays are 13-5 without Crawford and Longoria and tonight's lineup is very typical over the last few weeks except maybe Navarro and he doesn't make much.

    Kazmir has not been that great most of the season.

  8. Anonymous says:

    2 things:
    1. Yes the difference is the same, but the Tampa payroll doubled while the Yankees stayed almost the same (percentage-wise)

    2. I wonder what the FA value of the Tampa team is. The Yankees pay (at least) market value for each of their player.
    I know, Tampa developed the players, the Yankees bought them, but let's see what happens in a few years when the Tampa players get expensive and there are no more top 10 picks coming in.

    And no, I'm not a Yankees fan -- I hate them just as much as you.

  9. The Professor says:

    you think Giambi, Jeter and Abreu (just to name 3) are making "market value"?? No way in hell. And that is the problem with the Yankees. It is not so much that they pay a few extra million to get the player...Their problem is they always give the extra year or two on the contract. That is the problem with their "win now" attitude of the last 10 years. Now they have all these bloated contracts for guys that are not worth it any longer and there is nothing they can do about it.

    As for the Rays, almost all of their key players are already signed to longterm deals at below market value.

    and go back and see the post we did last week that showed the Rays ARE NOT built on top 10 picks.

    Myth Busters

  10. Anonymous says:

    I said "at least". I am fully aware of the Yankees overpaying.

    And the team will get a lot more expensive:
    Crawford - 2 more years, but he will make 10 mill in 2010 (which is cheap for him, but it's still 10mill)
    Percival - 1 more year
    Kazmir - 3 years/ for $28.5M
    Yes, these are good contracts, but the payroll will go up quite a bit. Plus a lot of the other players are on one year deals and become FA (Hinske) or hit arbitration.

    As for your myth buster: What about listing the win shares for each player. Without the great contribution of the top picks (and you have to include at least Garza) the team would suck.

    Hey, I don't want to take anything away from the Rays, they did a great job and they could have screwed it up (see Pittsb.) but you can't say this was not doable without the large number of high picks.


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