MLB salaries: Which teams are winning and losing the money game

Aug 24, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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There are MLB teams that spend money to land superstars to multi-year, multi-million-dollar deals almost every year, and there are MLB teams who choose to go the opposite way and spend as little money as possible. However, it’s not always about just spending money, but rather about how much “bang for the buck” you get out of each dollar spent on your roster.

With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at which MLB teams have received the highest return on investment from their spending in 2022

For this exercise, we took the updated payroll figures for each MLB team (per Spotrac) heading into Friday’s games and then divided the total cost by the number of wins that team had accumulated this season heading into Friday. With that calculation, we came up with how much it cost each team to earn each win so far in 2022.

Spoiler alert: You will see below that the teams with the most wins don’t often have the highest ROI, and neither do the teams that spent the most either. Sometimes it’s about finding the balance between the spending and the winning.

Below we’ll list the current payroll for each team and where that team ranks, from highest to lowest

Los Angeles Dodgers — $264,671,032 (1st)

New York Mets — $261,892,512 (2nd)

New York Yankees — $252,569,180 (3rd)

Philadelphia Phillies — $242,917,240 (4th)

San Diego Padres — $219,121,075 (5th)

Boston Red Sox — $207,863,546 (6th)

Chicago White Sox — $196,720,283 (7th)

Houston Astros — $183,110,002 (8th)

Atlanta Braves — $181,763,990 (9th)

Los Angeles Angels — $179,773,287 (10th)

Toronto Blue Jays — $173,859,087 (11th)

St. Louis Cardinals — $161,854,539 (12th)

San Francisco Giants — $155,397,681 (13th)

Chicago Cubs — $151,337,099 (14th)

LEAGUE AVERAGE — $148,233,064

Texas Rangers — $145,762,463 (15th)

Minnesota Twins — $143,628,105 (16th)

Colorado Rockies — $139,826,979 (17th)

Detroit Tigers — $131,209,849 (18th)

Milwaukee Brewers — $129,765,016 (19th)

Washington Nationals — $122,634,190 (20th)

Cincinnati Reds — $113,771,385 (21st)

Seattle Mariners — $112,743,376 (22nd)

Kansas City Royals — $92,500,079 (23rd)

Tampa Bay Rays — $90,513,547 (24th)

Arizona Diamondbacks — $84,950,734 (25th)

Miami Marlins — $83,721,325 (26th)

Cleveland Guardians — $66,165,861 (27th)

Pittsburgh Pirates — $65,534,297 (28th)

Oakland Athletics — $47,576,452 (29th)

Baltimore Orioles — $43,837,712 (30th)

Now we will list the teams based on the average cost per win, from highest to lowest

Philadelphia Phillies — 70 wins — $3,470,246 per win (1st)

Boston Red Sox — 60 wins — $3,464,392 per win (2nd)

Los Angeles Angels — 52 wins — $3,457,178 per win (3rd)

New York Yankees — 77 wins — $3,280,119 per win (4th)

New York Mets — 80 wins — $3,273,656 per win (5th)

San Diego Padres — 68 wins — $3,222,368 per win (6th)

Chicago White Sox — 63 wins — $3,122,544 per win (7th)

Los Angeles Dodgers — 86 wins — $3,077,570 per win (8th)

Washington Nationals — 42 wins — $2,919,861 per win (9th)

Chicago Cubs — 54 wins — $2,802,538 per win (10th)

Detroit Tigers — 48 wins — $2,733,538 per win (11th)

Colorado Rockies — 54 wins — $2,589,388 per win (12th)

Texas Rangers — 57 wins — $2,557,236 per win (13th)

Toronto Blue Jays — 68 wins — $2,556,751 per win (14th)

San Francisco Giants — 61 wins — $2,547,502 per win (15th)

Cincinnati Reds — 48 wins — $2,370,237 per win (16th)

Atlanta Braves — 78 wins — $2,330,307 per win (17th)

Minnesota Twins — 62 wins — $2,316,582 per win (18th)

Houston Astros — 81 wins — $2,260,617 per win (19th)

St. Louis Cardinals — 72 wins — $2,247,979 per win (20th)

Milwaukee Brewers — 65 wins — $1,996,384 per win (21st)

Kansas City Royals — 51 wins — $1,813,727 per win (22nd)

Seattle Mariners — 68 wins — $1,657,990 per win (23rd)

Miami Marlins — 54 wins — $1,550,394 per win (24th)

Arizona Diamondbacks — 56 wins — $1,516,977 per win (25th)

Pittsburgh Pirates — 47 wins — $1,394,346 per win (26th)

Tampa Bay Rays — 69 wins — $1,311,790 per win (27th)

Oakland Athletics — 46 wins — $1,034,270 per win (28th)

Cleveland Guardians — 66 wins — $1,002,513 per win (29th)

Baltimore Orioles — 65 wins — $674,426 per win (30th)

dark. Next. Ranking the 12 winningest teams in MLB history

With the Cleveland Guardians leading the American League Central and the Baltimore Orioles fighting for an AL Wild Card spot, there is plenty of proof that it’s not always how much you spend, but rather how much value your team can bring you on a nightly basis.

Note: Thanks to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post for serving as the genesis for this article idea.