Much of the attention related to payroll in Major League Baseball is focused on the teams with comparatively large payrolls – mostly the Yankees and then whatever team is currently trying to keep with them. This year it is the Dodgers, though the Mets, Tigers, Red Sox and Angels are generally in that group as well.
What draws less attention are the teams that consistently don’t spend much money at all.
Since 2006 (in 2004 and 2005 every team averaged more than $1 million per player), there have been five teams that spent an average of less than $1 million per player for the season.
- 2006: Florida Marlins ($530,016)
- 2007: Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins
- 2008: Florida Marlins
- 2009: none (lowest spender: Florida Marlins)
- 2010: none (lowest spender: Florida Marlins)
- 2011: none (lowest spender: Kansas City Royals)
- 2012: none (lowest spender: Oakland A’s)
- 2013: Houston
So, of the five teams that spent less than $1 million/player, three of those teams were the Florida Marlins. The Marlins also had the lowest payroll in two other years, though the average per player was over $1 million.