Who paid the most (and least) for wins in 2011?

I thought it would be fun to look at the 2011 payrolls around the MLB in relation to their final regular season record. Fun with averages after the jump.

The average MLB player salary in 2011 was $3.1 million. If one were to put together a roster of 25 guys making the league average, then that team's payroll would be $77.5 million. Furthermore if said team were to have an average season of 81-81, then they would be paying $957,000 per win (rounded to the nearest thousand dollars). This functions as the "mean" price for wins in 2011, although as is always the case with statistics this is far from a perfect number. Just as an example, if every team in baseball were expecting to pay $957,000 per win in 2011 then three teams (the Yankees, Phillies, and Red Sox) would actually be expecting more than 162 wins, which of course is impossible. Here is the full list of what every team paid per win in 2011. Only regular season wins were counted, and all numbers are in millions:

1: Yankees: 2.090

2: Red Sox: 1.797

3: Twins: 1.789

4: Cubs: 1.761

5: Phillies: 1.696

6: White Sox: 1.618

7: Angels: 1.611

8: Mets: 1.543

9: Giants: 1.374

10: Mariners: 1.291

11: Dodgers: 1.271

12: Astros: 1.262

13: Orioles: 1.237

14: Rockies: 1.208

15: Cardinals: 1.171

16: Tigers: 1.113

17: Braves: 0.978

18: Rangers: 0.961

19: Reds: 0.961


Average: 0.957


20: Athletics: 0.899

21: Brewers: 0.891

22: Nationals: 0.798

23: Marlins: 0.791

24: Blue Jays: 0.772

25: Padres: 0.646

26: Pirates: 0.626

27: Indians: 0.615

28: D'Backs: 0.571

29: Royals: 0.509

30: Rays: 0.451

A few thoughts:

Although it is no surprise to see the teams with the three biggest payrolls in the top five, the Twins and Cubs find themselves there due to less than stellar seasons. In fact, the Cubs often find themselves near the top of similar lists.

All things considered, the Phillies are about where they need to be. Sure, they overpaid for wins but were more efficient than a number of other big market teams and it's hard to downplay 102 wins.

What the Rays did is astounding. They paid quite literally a fraction for the cost of wins as most of the teams in their division, and were still able to get into the playoffs.

Many of the teams at the bottom of the list (with the exception of the Diamondbacks and Rays) are there more because of their low payrolls and less for how well they spent money. The Royals' payroll was only a little over $36 million in 2011, so they weren't going to pay that much for wins no matter what. So in the end, most of the big market huge payroll teams are also paying more for wins and the small market small payroll teams are expectantly paying less for wins.

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