The highest payroll in Major League Baseball in 2021 is that of last year’s 60-game season World Series Champs ($249m).
Appearing in three of the last four World Series’, they acquired Mookie Betts two years ago, Trevor Bauer this past winter, and paid off Justin Turner and other Irregular Season champs. The expenditures make their payroll for this season $50 million higher than the next nearest, the Yankees ($199m).
Move over Evil Empire, there’s a new Sith Lord in town.
You could add up the difference in salary between each of the next top five biggest budget teams, and it’s not $50 million. The Bums have outspent everyone by 20%.
The Astros ($192m) and Mets ($190m) are next, followed by the Angels and Phillies both at ($182m) and the Red Sox ($174m).
The Padres, with huge expenditures in the last two years – Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis – join the top ten biggest spenders at number eight ($172m), while the 2019 WS Champion Nationals ($170m) and the Cardinals ($164m), round out the top ten.
However, if you narrow the discussion to just the salaries of the 26-man roster, the top five are the two teams in LA followed by the Yankees, Phillies and Padres.
Two of the top five highest paid 26-man payrolls in all of baseball are in the National League West.
Third in spending in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants rank 11th ($153m) in payroll overall and 10th in 26-man payroll. So the Farhan Zaidi era of moneyball on our side of the bay begins with the Giants spending $30m less than the Padres and $66m less than the Bums for the 26 guys we each put out on the field. (Source: MLB 2021 Payroll Tracker)
Thus, it is with great pleasure I announce that as of today, the morning of the final day in April, last day of the first month of the 2021 season, with 25 games played, the San Francisco Giants are alone in first place in the National League West, with a record of 16-9.
Meanwhile the wheeling-and-dealing is non-stop upstairs, and the moneyball-style, shifting team-building process is in full-gear and yielding fruit.
This week the Giants traded reliever Wandy Peralta (who was never really consistent), to the Yankees for Mike Tauchman – a fast, rangy, competent, lefty center felder just two years removed from a season in which he had an .865 OPS and a 3.6 WAR! Tauchman had two hits and was excellent in CF at Oracle Park in his first start on Wednesday night – a 7-3 win in the rubber match of the Colorado series. He is a welcome addition with Yasztremski being sent down to the injured reserve.
The other exciting emerging player is 23-year-old pitcher Camilo Doval. The 6’2″ righty from Yamasa in the Dominican Republic, has shot up the Giants lineup with great performances in high-profile moments. Over at Round the Foghorn, Jeff Young has written a good piece about both of these developments and the Giants bats’ breakout game against Colorado – read it here.
Since our last GBC Reader, the Giants went on the road and split two series and came home and won two more:
Giants at Miami (1-2)
Alcantara was good and our bats were cold in game one. Marte preyed on our bullpen.
Giants at Phillies (2-1)
what, what? a road series win?! Yes indeed and it featured Anthony Desclafani
Giants vs. Marlins (3-1)
We got back the loss on the road and took the decider of the season series.
Giants vs. Rockies (2-1)
Huge breakout game for the bats in game one: 12 runs! in a shutout! Stellar performances by starting pitchers DeSclafani and Alex Wood (who flirted with a no-no through 6). And a bounceback performance by Logan Webb. Could have had the sweep if it weren’t for our bullpen, which remains a problem.
We’re in first place going into the series with the Padres this weekend.