The Most Expensive Baseball Team Ever

Move over, Yankees. The Dodgers set the record today for baseball’s most expensive opening-day payroll.

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USA Today calculated the Los Angeles Dodgers’ payroll at $269 million. The Associated Press calculated $270 million.

Either way, the Dodgers’ opening-day payroll breaks the Major League Baseball record. As USA Today reported today:

They’ve overtaken the Yankees as the fat cats on Wall Street, and with $330 million coming to them each year alone from their $8.35 billion Time Warner deal, the Dodgers could probably have a $400 million payroll, and still turn a profit.

Certainly, there’s no need to apologize, not after winning back-to-back NL West Division titles. Yet, they’ll continue to spend freely until they win that first World Series since 1988, and become a consistent juggernaut.

Los Angeles catcher A.J. Ellis told the AP that the Dodgers have done “a great job of collecting players” to help the team win.

The Dodgers’ opening-day payroll total includes nearly $44 million going to players who are no longer on the team. By USA Today’s calculations:

They’re paying $18 million of Matt Kemp’s $21 million salary with the San Diego Padres; $12.5 million to the Miami Marlins for Dan Haren ($10 million) and Dee Gordon ($2.5 million); and $13 million to released pitchers Brian Wilson ($10 million) and Chad Billingsley ($3 million).

The teams with the next-highest 2015 opening-day payrolls, according to the AP, are:

  • New York Yankees: $219 million
  • Boston Red Sox: $175 million
  • San Francisco Giants: $173.2 million
  • Detroit Tigers: $172.8 million
  • Washington Nationals: $166 million

At the bottom are:

  • New York Mets: $100.1 million
  • Miami Marlins: $69.2 million
  • Houston Astros: $69.1 million

The average opening-day salary for MLB players breaks records this year too, reaching $4.2 million. The AP reports that is up 6.3 percent from last year and up 15 percent from two years ago.

What’s your take on how much professional athletes earn? Sound off in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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