This really isn’t breaking news or anything, but the Blue Jays finished 2018 with the 11th biggest payroll in Major League Baseball. They paid 167,138,865 for the 63 different guys who suited up for them last season and some other commitments like Troy Tulowizki.
In 2019 that figure will drop substantially. Jays say it will rise again as club's talent base develops https://t.co/8CR10F6EQN
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 18, 2018
The $167,138,865 figure put the Jays in a mix with teams like Seattle, the Mets, St. Louis, and Texas as larger market teams who didn’t go completely ham on payrolls. It’s fairly similar to the $166,152,534 figure the Jays paid for 2017’s team, which ranked 14th in baseball.
The biggest payroll, of course, was the Red Sox, coming in at a whopping $239,481,745.
The Jays also weren’t the worst value-per-dollar team last year. In fact, it wasn’t even close. The Jays paid roughly $2.29 million per win last season which seems bad, but is a bargain compared to what the Giants paid to field the rotting husk of a roster last season. San Fransisco paid $195,716,953 for 73 wins, meaning it cost them $2.61 million per win. The Orioles paid $148,720,053 to finish about 100 games back of the division. That’s fucking $3.16 million per win. Another hilarious one is the Nationals paid $204,953,656, which is slightly over the luxury tax, to miss the playoffs in Bryce Harper’s walk year.
Anyways, as we know, the payroll is going to go down substantially next season. The team is going to be comprised largely of cheap young players and the Jays likely aren’t going to go out and pull the trigger on any new high-priced additions this winter.
Mark Shapiro has said that the money will be there when the team is ready to compete, but that likely won’t be for at least another two years. One thing I find a little worrying about all of this is how ticket sales are going to inevitably going to drop during this rebuild period which could open the window for a “we’ll spend when the fans start coming out” excuse that we became familiar with in the Paul Beeston days of the 2000s and 2010s.
Hopefully this money saved over the two or three cheap rebuilding seasons will all be invested into the team when the time comes. I mean, it’s fair to be skeptical given what we’ve been through with Rogers ownership in the past, but I really can’t imagine Shapiro would go out and produce a quote like this and then back track on it two years later. That’s just a senseless PR nightmare to set yourself up for.
We shall see!