We are often critical of the Yankees and Red Sox for spending exorbitant amounts of money on lots of players. But at least those teams typically spreads the wealth around.
The worst thing a team can do in terms of payroll, is to spend too much money on one player and leaving the team with little flexibility for the rest of the roster.
Neil Paine of Baseball-Reference.com took a look at which players make up the highest percentage of their team’s payroll. Below are the single-highest paid players on each team and what percentage of the payroll they are responsible for.
Number above each bar represents that team’s opening day payroll…
Carlos Lee and his $18.5 million salary is the biggest commitment by any team, representing more than 25 per cent of the Astros payroll.
If we look at the teams with the biggest single-player commitments, we see just how damaging that contract can be. Of the six teams with at least 19 per cent of their payroll going to one player, five have losing records at the All-Star break.
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