The Price of a Win in Baseball: Paying The Least

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Over on ESPN’s Sweet Spot, David Schoenfield has listed (in two parts) all 30 MLB teams along with win total and payroll over the past five years. Win total is his top priority. You can catch them here: (Bottom 15 | Top 15)

As I was skimming through those two articles, I got to thinking what these clubs pay, payroll-wise, for a win. Now payrolls will fluctuate during a season as some teams will add as they make a postseason push, while others will drop as they fall out of the hunt.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the five teams that have paid the least amount of bucks for a win are those teams that have also put the least amount of money toward their payrolls. What might surprise you is the order.

Payroll amounts taken from Cot’s Contracts and reflect opening day payrolls for each year from 2009 through 2013, as was Shoenfield’s articles.

Quickly, here are the teams from 10th to 6th.
10. Atlanta Braves (456 wins, $455.1MM payroll, $998k per win)
9. Cincinnati Reds (435 wins, $425.3MM payroll, $978k per win)
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (391 wins, $367.2MM payroll, $939k per win)
7. Kansas City Royals (361 wins, $329.7MM payroll, $913k per win)
6. Cleveland Indians (374 wins, $338.5MM payroll, $905k per win)

Now to the top 5…

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