Money on the DL (05/16/13)

By John Ewing

How much are MLB teams paying players not to play? Statistics courtesy of NYTimes.com.

Baseball players make a lot of money and they get paid regardless of if they play or not. The injury bug has bitten every team. As of May 16th there are 148 players on the disabled list. Those players are earning $568 million, which equates to 17.8% of all payrolls.

Some teams, like the New York Yankees, have been hit harder than others. The Yanks have 10 players on the DL totaling $85.6 million in salary or 37.5% of their payroll. New York is paying those players $19,607 per hour or $470,568 a day not to play.

Alex Rodriguez ($29 million), Mark Teixeira ($23.1 million), and Derek Jeter ($17 million) combined earn more than the entire payroll of five teams: San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, and Houston Astros. In fact, A-Rod alone makes more money than the entire Astros team ($21.1 million).

Luck plays a role as well. Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, their highest paid players have been injured. However, the San Francisco Giants with the 6th highest payroll in baseball at $136 million, only have two players on the disabled list. Those players earn a mere $1 million (lowest dollar value in MLB) or 0.7% of the team’s payroll. The Giants are only paying $226 per hour for those two players not to play

What kind of impact is this having on the teams? If a player is handsomely paid then one might jump to the conclusion that they are important to the success of a team’s win/loss record. Looking at the top 10 teams with the most money on the bench only four teams have winning records; New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and St. Louis Cardinals. Of which the Yankees, Rangers, and Cardinals are all in 1st place in their division.

Of the six teams with losing records five are either in last or second to last in their division. The results are a mixed bag. Teams like Toronto have not been able to replace the likes of Josh Johnson ($13.7 million) or Jose Reyes ($10 million) while St. Louis has found solid replacements for injured starters. Shelby Miller ($490k) has filled in nicely for Chris Carpenter ($12.5 million) with 5 wins and a 1.40 ERA.

To see the entire list and updated amounts paid per day click here.