One of the many storylines of the 2014 World Series involves the tried-and-true David vs. Goliath comparison, with the Royals playing David and the Giants (fittingly) Goliath. The Royals come in with the 18th highest payroll in MLB at $90,481,500, while the Giants are sixth at $148,239,158. We know payroll doesn’t automatically equal success, but it sure does make things easier — only five World Series teams since 2000 have been in the bottom half of MLB payroll.
Below are the five low-budget teams (2000-2014) who fought off the big spenders to make it to the World Series. The list is ordered by payroll slot in the year team made the World Series.
2008 Tampa Bay Rays (payroll rank: 29, total payroll: $43,820,597)
2007 Colorado Rockies (25, $54,424,000)
2003 Florida Marlins (25, $48,750,000)*
2014 Kansas City Royals (18, $90,481,500)
2002 Anaheim Angels (15, $61,721,667)*
*denotes World Series winner
Source: USA TODAY Sports
Michael Colangelo is Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute and Senior Editor of The Fields of Green.