USA Today released its salary data for Major League Baseball yesterday. The numbers were not really a surprise to anyone who followed Cot's Contracts or even who glanced at the front page of Baseball Reference during spring training. But USA Today records this total yearly, so it makes it a bit more official.
The Tigers, White Sox and Twins all checked in with payrolls above $100 million. That means, even in the best case where the division has a wild card team, a team with a large payroll is going to be left out. What might be surprising for people who don't follow salary too closely is that Detroit was no longer the leader of the Central pack. The Tigers weren't even second in the division.
Chicago led the Central -- and weighed in fifth in the major leagues -- with about $128 in player costs this year. Thanks to Joe Mauer's contract and a new stadium, the Twins rocketed up to $112 million. That's about $50 million more than the $65m estimate from 2009. Finally, the Tigers come in a bit shy of $106 million. The Central, by the way, is the only division with three $100 million teams in it.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today actually has a story about the Central, by the way.
It will come as no surprise that the Yankees lead all of baseball at more than $200 million. The Phillies ($172m), Red Sox ($162m) and Angels ($139m) also made the top five. (Ouch. The Angels are going to pay that much and aren't even remotely close to being the favorite in their division.)
Anyway, that's the way things stack up. Discuss as necessary!