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.
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