MMO Fan Shot: Comparing MLB Payrolls Per Market

An article by posted on June 25, 2014

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An MMO Fan Shot by Jonathan (Mets Fan in Paris)

I thought I’d pass along some research I recently conducted on a topic you might be interested in debating on MMO. It’s another way to look at the current Mets payroll level in comparison with all the other MLB teams.

Rather than just looking at where the Mets rank based on each team’s total payroll obligations (currently 25th), I wanted to present it in a way that also considered the market each team plays in.

We often reference big market teams vs small market teams, and as Mets fans we are often frustrated that our team acts like a small market team while operating in the largest possible market in professional sports.

With that, I decided to break down each major league market by their Metropolitan area’s populations (using Wikipedia) and then each team’s payroll (using Deadspin.com). In attempting to make it a bit more accurate, I divided the city’s populations by two in two-team markets (NY, Chi, LA, SF/Oak, DC/Bal). Then I divided the individual team’s payroll by the population of their area to see what the payroll/resident was.

CityPopulationPop/TeamPayrollPayroll Per Resident
New York (Yankees)22,214,08311,107,042203,812,506$18.35
(Mets)11,107,04289,051,758$8.02
Los Angeles (Dodgers)18,081,5699,040,785235,295,219$26.03
(Angels)9,040,785155,692,000$17.22
Chicago (White Sox)9,729,8254,864,91391,159,254$18.74
(Cubs)4,864,91389,051,758$18.30
D.C. Area (Nationals)8,718,0834,359,042134,704,437$30.90
(Orioles)4,359,042107,406,623$24.64
Boston7,601,0617,601,061162,817,411$21.42
San Francisco (Giants)7,563,4603,781,730154,185,878$40.77
(A’s)3,781,73083,401,400$22.05
Dallas6,887,3836,887,383136,036,172$19.75
Philadelphia6,562,2876,562,287180,052,723$27.44
Houston6,191,4346,191,43444,544,174$7.19
Atlanta5,712,1485,712,148110,897,341$19.41
Miami5,670,1255,670,12547,565,400$8.39
Detroit5,207,1255,207,125162,228,527$31.16
Seattle4,269,3494,269,34992,081,943$21.57
Phoenix4,263,2364,263,236112,688,666$26.43
Minnesota3,655,5583,655,55885,776,500$23.46
Denver3,157,5203,157,52095,832,071$30.35
San Diego3,140,0693,140,06990,094,196$28.69
St. Louis2,882,9322,882,932111,020,360$38.51
Cleveland2,871,0842,871,08482,534,800$28.75
Tampa Bay2,824,7242,824,72477,062,891$27.28
Pittsburgh2,450,2812,450,28178,111,667$31.88
Cincinnati2,179,9652,179,965112,390,772$51.56
Kansas City2,122,9082,122,90892,034,345$43.35
Milwaukee1,757,6041,757,604103,844,806$59.08
Toronto6,054,1916,054,191132,628,700$21.91

If you couldn’t have guessed already, the Mets ended up ranking next to last spending $8.02 per New York City resident with only Houston spending less at ($7.19).

Please note that I divided NY’s population by two. The big spenders per citizen were Cincinnati coming in at $51.56 per citizen and Kansas City at $43.35 followed by Boston at $40.77.

By no means am I an expert in this and perhaps the methodology could be argued against, but I just wanted to get a more realistic idea of how bad the Wilpons’ lack of spending looks compared to all the other teams in the league and particularly those in larger markets.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Jonathan (Mets Fan in Paris). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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