What Would The 1986 Mets Be Making In Today’s Dollars?

1986 ojeda fernandez gooden darling

Baseball-Reference.com has a pretty cool feature where you can translate a player’s salary for any particular year into current year dollars.

I was curious, so I wanted to see how much the 1986 Mets would be paid in 2013 dollars. This just goes to show how much money has flowed into the game since then… not only at the top end of the spectrum, but at the current MLB minimum as well. Nearly half the roster was making the equivalent of less than the current MLB minimum.

Dillon Gee would be paid more than every player, but George Foster, Gary Carter, and Keith Hernandez. And Lucas Duda is practically asking for Darryl Strawberry money…

George Foster – $5.96M

Gary Carter – $4.6M

Keith Hernandez – $3.51M

Dwight Gooden – $2.81M

Darryl Strawberry – $2.01M

Jesse Orosco – $1.76M

Mookie Wilson – $1.49M

Ray Knight – $1.37M

Lee Mazzilli – $1.3M

Bob Ojeda – $1.17M

Ron Darling – $937K

Danny Heep – $745K

Wally Backman – $692K

Doug Sisk – $586K

Rafael Santana – $500K

Howard Johnson – $484K

Tim Teufel – $426K

Sid Fernandez – $426K

Roger McDowell – $394K

Rick Aguilera – $277K

Lenny Dykstra – $197K

Randy Niemann – $177K

Kevin Mitchell – $128K

Ed Hearn – $128K

Kevin Elster – $128K

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Roger is a lifelong Mets fan since 1981, now married with kids and still knows that there is no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark with your child. Growing up, he wanted to be either the Second Baseman for the Mets - or their statistician. Follow him at @BigMetsFan1. email him at metsfanontwitter@aol.com
  • Bail4Nails

    Lenny Dykstra would still be broke. Dammit!

  • TexasGusCC

    I don’t follow. How would those guys mostly be making less than a million today? Gary Carter would be a $20MM catcher for sure. Hernandez would be at about $15, if that is what Granderson is getting, no? And, if Kershaw just got $30MM, you really think Gooden won’t? Please explain.

  • TexasGusCC

    And to boot, today’s MLB minimum is $500K, so how would those bottom guys be at $100+K?

  • Big Mets Fan

    This is what their actual salaries in 1986 would translate into 2013 dollars. Carter’s actual 1986 salary was $2.16M, which translates to $4.6M in 2013 dollars. Hernandez’s actual salary was $1.65M, which converts to $3.51M in 2013 dollars. Were they playing today, they’d be making much, much more with the influx of money that has come into the game since 1986.

  • How much would Bobby Bonilla make if he was still getting paid today?
    Oh yeah, right.

  • TexasGusCC

    I understand Big Mets Fan, but applying Present Value to 1986 dollars doesn’t realistically reflect the change in pay structure. After all, just seeing that Gee would be making more than your gold glove former MVP first baseman or that Duda wants Strawberry money just makes the whole thing unrealistic. Just, my opinion.

  • Hotstreak

    Sid looks pretty fit there.

  • Taskmaster4450

    The only ones who would be making more money would be the vets. The young guys would still be lagging because of the way the process is. Foster would be overpaid at $20M+. Carter would be near $20M+ with Hernandez in the $18M region.

    Stramberry and Doc would just be at the start of the arbitration process. Straw would be over $10M being in his second year of arbitration while Doc would most likely get $7M-$10M his first year. Darling would also be in the $7M range since he would be in 2nd year also. Ojeda would be a $10M+ pitcher. Orosco would also see $10M since he is a closer. Sisk would be able $3M. HoJo and El SId would be around Ikes and Gees pay, somewhere about $3.5M. The rest would be $2.5M and under with the youngs guys pulling down $500K.

  • Rocky Thompson

    The analysis you did is more interesting and relevant, than simply inflation adjusting the 1986 salaries.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Big,

    The pay structure is different so those players would cost us way more today than they did in 1986.

    Taking that into account, if playing today the only ones who would be Mets would be Mitchell, Hearn and Elster. Think of it – because of their late season “collapse” the year before and their “mid season” collapse the one before that, it would have been argued that the team needed to be broken up and rebuilt and that one could not just spend, spend, spend and not ignore the farm system. LOL

  • joeythew

    Not really what they’d be making in today’s major league baseball (that should have been the premise of the story) since the league minimum is $490,000.

  • Taskmaster4450

    He rounded out nicely especially when he got to Philly.

  • This would only be relevant if the extra work was done to see what the money made in 1986 translates to in 2014. It doesn’t matter what it is in 2014 dollars. What matters is figuring out according to scale what guys would be getting. To me, that is easily a $100MM roster, maybe more. It’s certainly much more than our $86.2 -90MM roster of mostly AAAA players we will be subjected to in 2014.

  • skyhappysal

    I would like to see a different sort of translation..something like..Foster was in the top 5% in 86 so if he played in 2014 he would be making 21M…something like that.

  • Pike Miazza

    Lol, hes got “chick hips” !!!

  • Pike Miazza

    that’s funny….

  • Pike Miazza

    selling bogus stock tips !!!!

  • Pike Miazza

    George Foster – $17M

    Gary Carter – $18M

    Keith Hernandez – $17M

    Dwight Gooden – $20M

    Darryl Strawberry – $18M

    Jesse Orosco – $7M

    Mookie Wilson – $7M

    Ray Knight – $10M

    Bob Ojeda – $11M

    Ron Darling – $12.5M

    Wally Backman – $1.8M

    Howard Johnson – $9M

    Tim Teufel – $1.6M

    Sid Fernandez – $8M

    Roger McDowell – $9M

    Lenny Dykstra – $14M

    Kevin Mitchell – $12M