This year’s playoff field in Major League Baseball shows once again that a team like the Kansas City Royals can still make the playoffs despite having the 11th smallest payroll. But while it is possible, there is still a huge gap between the haves and have-nots and some teams still have a huge advantage over their low-revenue counterparts.
Of the five largest payrolls in baseball this season, four are among the eight teams still alive in the playoffs, led by the Los Angeles Dodgers ($240.4 million). The only team among the top five not in the playoffs is the New York Yankees ($226.7 million) and none of the bottom ten payrolls are still alive.
The advantage for big-revenue teams is the extra room for error. The Dodgers can still be successful despite giving a player like Andre Ethier a 5-year, $US85 million contract to hit .249 with four home runs. A team like the Royals would sink under the weight of a contract like that.
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