With the Red Sox in last place, 13 ½ games out of first place, despite winning eight of their last 13 games under interim Manager Torey Lovullo, I thought I’d take a look at the salaries of this year’s team compared with teams in the past few years.
The Sox players’ payroll on Opening Day of what I like to call the Season From Hell, was $187,407,202., according to stevetheump.com. (Steve’s figures seem to be as accurate as most services providing this info and what’s a few million dollars here or there when you’re dealing with hundreds of millions.)
This figure makes the Red Sox the third highest paid team in baseball behind the Los Angeles Dodgers whose payroll was almost $273. million and the New York Yankees with a payroll of over $219. million. Since 2010, the Sox have been in the top two to four in baseball salaries every year and have managed to finish first once, third twice, last twice and are well on their way to a third last place finish in their division.
This year’s figure is the highest in Red Sox history and they are on track for 74 wins at the rate they have won so far. The only times they won less games than they are projected to win this year since John Henry’s crew took over was in 2014 when they won only 71 under John Farrell and 2012 when they won just 69 under the infamous Bobby Valentine.
When they won 69 in 2012, their payroll was over $173. million, the second highest total in their history and, when they won 71 in 2014, their payroll was almost $163. million, the third highest in their history. In the ‘Henry Era’, apparently, there is an inverse relationship between pay and performance. The three highest paid teams have finished last.
On the other hand, the team that won the pennant and the World Series in 2013, had the lowest payroll of the six teams since 2010 at just under $151. million.
It would seem that, at least from this admittedly small sample, the solution to the Red Sox problems may be to cut payroll. It certainly makes more sense than getting rid of a popular broadcaster whose ratings have gone down because the team on the field has failed to earn its pay.