May 6, 2021

Money to Spend: What’s the Likely State of Team Payrolls in 2020? (FanGraphs)


How much major league teams are willing to spend on player salaries in any given year can be a bit murky. Teams don’t want to show their hand and lose negotiating power with free agents, though we can usually figure out their number by the end of spring when the money has been spent. How much every team is likely to spend is more opaque. We know that, generally speaking, teams are making boatloads, but while the revenue across the sport has increased over the last few years, it hasn’t resulted in increased payrolls. Every team has lots of money — the budget constraints we hear front office types reference are, more often than not, self-imposed rather than the result of empty coffers — but some will spend more than others. Trying to pin down what teams will spend in 2020 at this point in the winter is difficult, but we can use last year’s payroll numbers as a guide to get a rough idea of what each is likely to do, and thus gauge which ones will commit to payroll increases and which are likely to embrace thrift.

To answer those questions, we can look to the contracts coming off the books at the end of 2019, but that number can be misleading. Raises to players with…

Read “Money to Spend: What’s the Likely State of Team Payrolls in 2020?” at FanGraphs