For the third consecutive year, we are analyzing the cost per win of all 30 teams in Major League Baseball as a way of determining which MLB GM’s are the most efficient with their payrolls. This analysis is particularly interesting in baseball, where the difference between the highest (Yankees at $229M) and lowest (Astros at $22M ) payrolls are a staggering $207 Million apart. Our 2013 MLB payroll data comes from USA Today.
This year’s analysis was more interesting than usual, due largely to the aforementioned Houston Astros, whose payroll was so low that they only had to win 22 games to break the $1 Million cost per win milestone. The $1 Million cost per win milestone is typically reserved for teams in the top third of MLB cost per win efficiency. In fact, the Astros won a league-worst 51 games, which was good enough to propel them all the way to first in the cost per win efficiency standings this season.
This prevented the Oakland A’s from defending their title as the most salary efficient team in baseball. However, when looking at winning teams, the A’s ‘moneyball’ magic once again resulted in a playoff berth and an impressive 96 wins (third best in MLB) with a $61 Million payroll (fourth lowest in baseball) for a cost per win of $632k.
Furthermore, there were just three teams that were in the bottom third of MLB payrolls and top third of MLB wins: Oakland A’s, Tampa Bay Rays, and Cleveland Indians. On the other end of the spectrum, the New York Yankees were the least payroll efficient team in MLB, spending a league high $229 Million but winning the 14th most games with 85 for a cost per win of $2.69 Million.
How did your team do? Take a look by selecting any MLB team in the interactive visualization above to see 2013 stats, where they ranked in MLB cost per win efficiency, and how they did year over year.
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