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MLB Payroll By The Numbers

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Every year USA Today examines the salaries of the Major League Baseball teams and their players and publishes them. Let's see that their numbers tell us about the Twins recent payroll cut....

Swimming Upstream
Twins payroll went from $112.7M last year to $94.1M this year, a decrease of $18.6M or 17%.

Overall, MLB payrolls increased 6%. If the Twins payroll from 2011 would have increased 6%, the payroll would have been $119.5M, $25.4M more than actual level.

Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Joe Nathan are making $25M this year with their new teams.

Prince Fielder is making $23M with the new contract he signed with the Tigers.

The top 3 free agent pitchers this year – CJ Wilson, Yu Darvish and Mark Buehrle – all have contracts that are back-loaded or, in Darvish’s case, come with significant money going back to his Japanese club. Because of that, those three are making less than $25M this year combined.

Not Alone
The Twins were not the only team to cut payroll. 13 of 30 MLB teams cut payroll. For instance, the Yankees cut payroll, too. They went down $4.7M to $197.9M, which is still $100M more than the Twins.

However, the Twins had the fourth biggest cut in payroll in dollars, and the fifth biggest cut in payroll by percentage.

But the Twins were not the AL Central’s biggest cut. That honor goes to the White Sox, who cut their payroll $30.8M. They’re still the second biggest spenders in the AL Central. The Twins are 3rd, $2.8M behind the Sox.

The Rise Of The Midwest
Of the top five teams with the greatest boost to payroll, three of them are in the AL Central.

Fifth is the Kansas City Royals, whose payroll rose from $36.1M to $60.9M, which is still $34 million less than the Twins. That 69% increase represented the second biggest percentage increase in MLB.

Fourth is the Detroit Tigers, who increase payroll $26.6M to $132M. Almost all of that can be attributed to signing Prince Fielder.

And second is the Cleveland Indians, who spent an extra $29.2M to raise to $78.4M.

The Miami Marlins, who moved into a new ballpark, had the largest increase, both in pure dollars and by percentage. Their payroll increased by $61M, more than doubling their payroll last year.
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