The MLB Lockout Summed Up and What Payroll Has to do With It
Unfortunately for Baseball betting enthusiasts, the MLB 2022 season has been delayed, due to a player lockout, resulting in the first two games getting canceled. The season delays are due to disagreements on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), or at its simplest, the payment and working conditions of MLB players. Recently on March 1st, the player leaders of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) unanimously rejected the MLB’s proposal, causing the delays. There are a whole host of contentious issues that the MLBPA are concerned about, according to a statement made by the MLBPA, including promoting competition, fair compensation for young players, and ensuring the integrity of the market system. Another major concern is the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) also known as the luxury tax which, according to the MLBPA, is being used to cap player salaries. So it seems MLB Bettors are going to have to wait a bit before being able to see their favorite teams back on the ball field.
It’s understandable that payrolls are a big source of contention between players and owners, as they have declined by over $167,000,000 between 2019 and 2021. This season’s stoppage has the dubious honor of making history, becoming the 5th work stoppage to cancel regular-season games. All that said, while these figures are likely to change, it’s worth looking at the current payrolls of the MLB teams.
How the 2022 MLB Payroll Compares to the Past
As things stand, the total payroll for the league stands at $3,454,276,414, down from $4,050,986,036 in 2021. The stagnation and even decline of payroll is likely a big concern for players and heavily contributed to the current lockout. The 2021 figure was already as low as the payroll total for 2015, and this year’s payroll could be projected to be lower. This year’s average team payroll is $115,142,547, although it’s worth noting that the team payroll distribution is far from even. Only 12 of the 30 teams in the MLB are actually above the average. The difference between ‘big market’ and ‘small market’ teams is nothing new and somewhat unavoidable, but teams deliberately ‘tanking’ by underspending was a notable concern from the MLBPA.
Max Scherzer and the New York Mets have the MLB’s biggest payrolls in 2022
Payroll Big Spenders of 2022
The top spot on the payroll list goes to the New York Mets, at just shy of $236 million, more than double the average team payroll. There is no salary cap in the MLB, something the Mets have taken advantage of when finalizing a deal with Max Scherzer. Scherzer has the highest payroll salary, a staggering $43.3 million, which also happens to have broken the MLB record for the highest salary ever. As if that wasn’t enough, the Mets have 2 more player payrolls over $30 million and another 6 above $10 million.
Franmil Reyes of Cleveland Guardians, the lowest payroll spenders of 2022
This Year’s Lowest Payroll
The lowest team payroll goes to recently rebranded Cleveland Guardians at just over $29 million, with Baltimore Orioles close behind at about £29.4 million. What might surprise some is that more than 15 players in the MLB have a higher payroll individually than either of these two teams have in total. Another interesting fact is that the sum of the five lowest team payrolls is around $20 million below that of the biggest payroll spender, the New York Mets.
For more details of the 2022 MLB payroll sorted by team, please see the table below.
|Rank||Team||Roster Size||2022 Total Payroll|
|1||New York Mets||28||$235,599,999|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers||29||$214,458,333|
|3||New York Yankees||27||$211,240,714|
|4||San Diego Padres||27||$184,497,618|
|5||Chicago White Sox||26||$169,633,334|
|7||Boston Red Sox||26||$164,575,000|
|8||Los Angeles Angels||27||$161,338,094|
|10||St. Louis Cardinals||26||$137,246,166|
|11||Toronto Blue Jays||26||$132,342,855|
|14||San Francisco Giants||26||$107,462,500|
|21||Tampa Bay Rays||30||$75,421,213|
|22||Kansas City Royals||25||$72,925,000|
Delayed Start to the MLB 2022 Season and Bets to Look Forward to
The current lockout is something no one really wanted to happen, whether that be players, owners or fans. Although both MLB’s players and owners are likely to stick to their guns as much as they can, sooner or later, this lockout will be resolved, and we can get back to enjoying amazing baseball! With a bit of luck, the players association will have their way, and the first two canceled games will be rescheduled too. This return to normalcy will be a relief to both sports fans and bettors alike and might even lead to even more competitive games within the league!