A look at MLB spending this off season

Over the last week or so I have been looking at the spending of each MLB team so far this off season. Now, thanks to our good friends at mlbtraderumors.com I have a list of all the spending by all 30 MLB teams so far this off season. So to be clear this is new money, either in free agent signings or signing players to contract extensions. These numbers reveal a lot about what is wrong with baseball. Trust me it is not the amount of spending, but the clubs unwilling to spend at all.

For example, the Boston Red Sox have shelled out 172 million dollars in new payroll expenditures. The Cleveland Indians have spent 1.3 million in new money. The Red Sox were already a good team, the Indians a pretty bad one. I wonder how that will play out in 2011. Of course the Red Sox will be good and the Indians will be bad. If I can say that three days before Christmas of 2010 why should anyone go see the Indians play in 2011?

Maybe that is not really fair. The Red Sox are in a unique position with an old ball park with limited seating which allows them to charge a premium for all of their seats. Cleveland and Detroit are two very similar cities, and the Indians and the Tigers happen to be in the same division. The Tigers have spent 99.25 million in new contracts compared to the 1.3 million of the Indians. That doesn’t make me want to follow my Tigers to Cleveland to take in a road game.

However, there is also a big drop off at the top of this list. The Red sox have spent 172 million and lead, but the St. Louis Cardinals (in 8th) have spent just 42.35 million. Even from first to firth see a decrease of over 72 million dollars. MLB has got to find a way to level the playing field, because this kind of inequity of spending (even though some of it is actually mismanagement) is not good for the game of baseball.

Related Links:

  • The Business of Major League Baseball
  • Joshua Lobdell.com
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