A-Rod’s salary will be higher than the entire Houston Astros team in 2013, a sign of the lack of parity in Major League Baseball as well as the skyrocketing salaries for star players.
Alex Rodriguez will earn $29 million in 2013, giving him the league’s highest salary for the 13th straight season. As a team the New York Yankees will have the highest payroll for the season, with a projected $228 million.
Compare that to the Houston Astros, which pays its all players combined $4 million less than A-Rod will make. The team will start the season with a total payroll of $25 million.
For the Astros, having a total salary lower than A-Rod doesn’t matter as long as they take care of business on the field.
“When we get on the baseball field with whomever the opponent is, they are not sitting there saying: ‘Well, their players make more money than us so therefore you’re deemed a winner and we’re deemed a loser,’ ” Astros manager Bo Porter said Thursday. “Games are won and lost on the baseball field, and it doesn’t matter what somebody is paid every two weeks. At the end of the day, that person has to be better than you today.”
But the Astros will need a dramatic change this season to compete with baseball’s top-paying teams. Houston finished with a league-worst record of 55-107 last year, nine games behind the second-worst Minnesota Twins.
Like the Astros, the Yankees say they can’t be concerned with payroll, only their performance on the field.
“We’ve actually increased our payroll this year,” Yankees President Randy Levine said. “As sometimes happens, certain people like to ignore the facts instead of the reality. These are the same people who one day criticize us for spending too much money, the next day criticize us for spending too little. The goal of the team every year is to do what’s necessary to field a championship team. That goes for this year and, as Hal Steinbrenner has said, next year and every year going forward.”
A-Rod’s salary may be higher than the Astros entire team, but Houston will definitely get more for its money than the Yankees. The 37-year-old Rodriguez had surgery on his hip in the offseason and will be out of the lineup until sometime after the All-Star break, with a chance he won’t return at all this year.