Finance Uncategorized

How much did MLB playoff teams pay for every regular-season win?

A look at how much money it took each MLB front office to get their club to the postseason.

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

The Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals took different paths to reach tonight’s AL wild card game, but the two franchises spent nearly the same amount of money to get there.

The start of the MLB postseason is an interesting time to examine how successful each front office was at distributing its payroll. We know which franchises put their money to best use: those with teams that are still playing right now. But worth considering is, which postseason franchise spent the most efficiently? By looking at a crude measure of wins/payroll we can determine each team’s cost per win and analyze how much money it took each front office to get their club to this stage.

The Pirates had the lowest payroll and the lowest cost per win at $828,379. Pittsburgh was the only franchise to reach the postseason spending under $1 million per win. Among the bigger-market clubs, the Nationals won two more games than the Dodgers . . . and spent over $1 million less per win in the process. The Angels finished the regular season with an MLB-best 98 wins with the league’s 5th highest payroll, spending $1.7 million per win.

The Giants spent nearly $2 million per win this regular season, and when they square off against the Pirates in the NL wild card game on Wednesday, they’ll do so with a roster that cost over $100 million more to assemble.

Here are the cost per win figures for each of the 10 postseason clubs, in order of regular season win total:

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

98 wins, $1,732,239 per win

Baltimore Orioles

(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

96 wins, $1,133,118 per win

Washington Nationals

(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

96 wins, $1,475,016 per win

Los Angeles Dodgers

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

94 wins, $2,557,712 per win

St. Louis Cardinals

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

90 wins, $1,423,438 per win

Detroit Tigers

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

90 wins, $1,906,556 per win

Kansas City Royals

(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

89 wins, $1,059,078 per win

Pittsburgh Pirates

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

88 wins, $828,379 per win

Oakland Athletics

(AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Louuis DeLuca )
(AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Louuis DeLuca )

88 wins, $1,064,714 per win

San Francisco Giants

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

88 wins, $1,959,580 per win

Payroll data via Spotrac

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