Our friends at USA TODAY have updated their fantastic Salary Database to reflect season-opening rosters across Major League Baseball for 2016. What makes this database even better is its long history, making comparisons of team and player salaries across time easy.
For only the second time since 2005, the St. Louis Cardinals have broken into the top 10 in team player payrolls to open a season – with their highest relative placement since 2005 at ninth overall. Their $22.8 million increase over 2015 moved the club up to ninth from 12th place last season.
Across MLB as a whole for 2016, the New York Yankees have retaken the number one position in team payroll, ending the Los Angeles Dodgers’ two-year reign on top.
Another perhaps more relevant factor to note than the raw ranking is how the Cardinals’ team salary has been slowly creeping closer toward the top payroll in the game.
Until 2011, the Cardinals’ payroll was always less than half of that of MLB’s leader. In four of the last five years, however, it moved over 50 percent for the first time. Here in 2016, a new Cardinals high-water mark of 63.6 percent of the top team payroll in the game has been established.
With a new lucrative television contract coming into play in 2017 and a number of young players reaching the point of major salary escalation, Cardinals officials have communicated an expectation of continued player payroll increases in the upcoming years.
However, exactly how much and when remains to be seen; yet the current trend is positive.
|Cardinals||StL as percent|
|Year||Payroll (MM)||StL Rank||#1 team||Payroll (MM)||of #1|
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