The fact that Major League Baseball is still the only major professional sports league in the United States without a salary cap in place makes the 2012 MLB payrolls an important thing to keep in mind as the season progresses. While not as difficult to track down as the NFL payrolls by team, we wanted to provide the easiest to find and most straightforward chart available for the 2012 MLB salaries by team along with some year over year insights. We will also use these numbers in our second annual MLB Cost Per Win Efficiency Standings.
My source for all of these numbers is USA Today, who has tracked MLB salaries by team since 1988.
Team | Total 2012 Payroll
New York Yankees | $ 197,962,289
Philadelphia Phillies | $ 174,538,938
Boston Red Sox | $ 173,186,617
Los Angeles Angels | $ 154,485,166
Detroit Tigers | $ 132,300,000
Texas Rangers | $ 120,510,974
Miami Marlins | $ 118,078,000
San Francisco Giants | $ 117,620,683
St. Louis Cardinals | $ 110,300,862
Milwaukee Brewers | $ 97,653,944
Chicago White Sox | $ 96,919,500
Los Angeles Dodgers | $ 95,143,575
Minnesota Twins | $ 94,085,000
New York Mets | $ 93,353,983
Chicago Cubs | $ 88,197,033
Atlanta Braves | $ 83,309,942
Cincinnati Reds | $ 82,203,616
Seattle Mariners | $ 81,978,100
Baltimore Orioles | $ 81,428,999
Washington Nationals | $ 81,336,143
Cleveland Indians | $ 78,430,300
Colorado Rockies | $ 78,069,571
Toronto Blue Jays | $ 75,489,200
Arizona Diamondbacks | $ 74,284,833
Tampa Bay Rays | $ 64,173,500
Pittsburgh Pirates | $ 63,431,999
Kansas City Royals | $ 60,916,225
Houston Astros | $ 60,651,000
Oakland Athletics | $ 55,372,500
San Diego Padres | $ 55,244,700
Year over year insights:
- The top four payrolls in baseball remained constant with the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Angels occupying the top four spots.
- The gap in payrolls between the highest total salary and lowest total salary closed from $166,563,028 in 2011 to $142,717,589 in 2012.
- The highest payroll decreased from $202,689,028 (Yankees) in 2011 to $197,962,289 (Yankees) in 2012 – a decrease of 2.33%.
- The lowest payroll increased from $36,126,000 (Royals) in 2011 to $ 55,244,700 in 2012 (Padres) – an increase of 52.92%.