March 17, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; A detail of the baseball on the field before a spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

2012 MLB Team Salaries

With the end of another offseason upon us, USA Today has once again posted team salaries for each and every club in Major League Baseball.  Let’s see how 2012’s totals stack up to last season’s figures and take a look at some of the league’s most significant movers and shakers on the overall team salary list.

While the total money spent by major league teams in 2012 ($2,940,657,192) is more than $150 million greater than the overall amount spent in 2011, 2012’s highest overall team salary is less than 2011’s figure.

Both totals belong to the New York Yankees.  In 2011 the Yankees surpassed the $200 million mark, but “cut back” to just under $198 million this season.  This trimming of the fat is due to MLB’s new luxury tax penalties, something that’s obviously made a difference in the spending plans of several perennial fat cats, the Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox.

It’s interesting to note that there are less teams with salaries north of $100 million in 2012 (9) than there were in 2011 (12).  The floor of overall team salaries has risen to just over $55 million (San Diego Padres) in 2012, up from 2011’s low mark of $36 million (Kansas City Royals).  This season there are no clubs spending less than $55 million, while six teams fell below this mark in 2011.

It shouldn’t be surprising to see that the Miami Marlins salary changed the most of any club between the start of 2011 and 2012.  Thanks to the additions of Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and others, the Marlins 2012 team salary of $103 million is nearly than double their 2011 total of just under $57 million.

Other teams to increase their salaries by at least $20 million from the start of last season include the Cleveland Indians ($29 million), Texas Rangers ($28 million), Detroit Tigers ($26 million), Kansas City Royals ($24 million), Tampa Bay Rays ($23 million) and Arizona Diamondbacks ($20 million).

The pair of Windy City teams are near the top of the charts for largest payroll reduction entering the year.  Both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox have reduced payroll by at least $20 million, with the Cubs dropping $21 million from their books and the White Sox $30 million.  Due to the Cubbies picking up $15 million of Carlos Zambrano‘s contract, the New York Mets actually finished ahead of Chicago in this category, having cut payroll by $25 million.

Other teams that have dropped at least $10 million in salary from the start of last season include the Minnesota Twins ($18 million), Oakland Athletics ($11 million), Houston Astros ($10 million) and the Colorado Rockies ($10 million).

Team 2012 Salary Change From 2011 Salary
New York Yankees  $      197,962,289.00  $        (4,726,739.00)
Philadelphia Phillies  $      174,538,938.00  $        1,562,559.00
Boston Red Sox  $      173,186,617.00  $        11,424,142.00
Los Angeles Angels  $      154,485,166.00  $        15,942,000.00
Detroit Tigers  $      132,300,000.00  $        26,599,769.00
Texas Rangers  $      120,510,974.00  $        28,211,710.00
Miami Marlins  $      103,078,000.00  $        46,134,000.00
San Francisco Giants  $      117,620,683.00  $        (577,650.00)
St. Louis Cardinals  $      110,300,862.00  $        4,867,290.00
Milwaukee Brewers  $        97,653,944.00  $        12,156,611.00
Chicago White Sox  $        96,919,500.00  $        (30,869,500.00)
Los Angeles Dodgers  $        95,143,575.00  $        (9,045,424.00)
Minnesota Twins  $        94,085,000.00  $        (18,652,000.00)
New York Mets  $        93,353,983.00  $        (25,493,326.00)
Chicago Cubs  $        88,197,033.00  $        (21,850,296.00)
Atlanta Braves  $        83,309,942.00  $        (3,692,750.00)
Cincinnati Reds  $        82,203,616.00  $        6,256,482.00
Seattle Mariners  $        81,978,100.00  $        (4,546,500.00)
Baltimore Orioles  $        81,428,999.00  $        (3,875,039.00)
Washington Nationals  $        81,336,143.00  $        17,479,215.00
Cleveland Indians  $        78,430,300.00  $        29,239,734.00
Colorado Rockies  $        78,069,571.00  $        (10,078,500.00)
Toronto Blue Jays  $        75,489,200.00  $        12,921,400.00
Arizona Diamondbacks  $        74,284,833.00  $        20,645,000.00
Tampa Bay Rays  $        64,173,500.00  $        23,119,929.00
Pittsburgh Pirates  $        63,431,999.00  $        18,384,999.00
Kansas City Royals  $        60,916,225.00  $        24,790,225.00
Houston Astros  $        60,651,000.00  $        (10,043,000.00)
Oakland Athletics  $        55,372,500.00  $        (11,164,000.00)
San Diego Padres  $        55,244,700.00  $        9,375,560.00
Total  $   2,940,657,192.00

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Miami Marlins MLB New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies

  • ehsank24

    Marlins salary for 2012 is inaccurate. USA Today did not take into account that most of Carlos Zambrano’s is picked up by the Cubs.

  • blaineblontz

     @ehsank24 Ah, good call. I’m assuming that means that the Cubs figure should be increased by $15 million and the Marlins decreased by $15 million? That’s what the numbers will now reflect.

  • ehsank24

     @blaineblontz I am trying to confirm for you right now.

  • ehsank24

     @blaineblontz That seems to be correct

  • FredOwens

    USA today must calculate payroll differently than I or Braves CEO Terry McGuirk as they are consistently lower than reality.  They don’t appear to take into account:
    Players on major league minimum,
    Players that get a bump in that minimum like Jason Heyward for example,
    Players teams are  contractually entitled to more than the minor league minimum who aren’t on the major league roster like Peter Moyaln,and
    Money owed to others like the $10M the Braves pay the Indians for Lowe or the $1.5 M buyout of McLouth,.
    All of those count against this year’s payroll.
    I broke the Braves payroll down on Jan 30  based on COTS on Baseball prospectus and reported contracts on MLBTR.  It’s changed a little since then and the Braves are now at about $92.5 with the addition of Livan and Durban but without adding the actual minimum salary player raises some got.