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What MLB teams had the highest payrolls in the 2023 season?

Payroll refers to the total amount of money that a team in Major League Baseball spends on player salaries, bonuses, and other compensation during a season.

Justin Verlander #35 of the New York Mets

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the payroll is the total amount of money a team spends on player salaries during a season, including salaries, bonuses, and other compensation. This amount can vary depending on the team’s budget, which differs from team to team. High-revenue teams usually have larger payrolls and can acquire and retain top players, while lower-revenue teams may have smaller payrolls, which can affect their competitiveness. The payroll plays a significant role in a team’s ability to acquire and maintain talent and can impact their success in the league.

MLB has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league’s owners and the players’ union (MLBPA), which governs player salaries, revenue sharing, and other financial aspects of the game. This agreement helps determine how payrolls are structured and how revenue is distributed across the league. Payroll figures for individual teams are publicly available and are often reported and analyzed by sports media, like in this case.

MLB teams with the highest payrolls

In 2023, the average total payroll for all Major League Baseball (MLB) teams is $147,827,561. The New York Mets have the highest payroll, at $334,233,332, while the Oakland Athletics have the lowest, at $42,425,000.

Baseball is a costly sport, and owners of big-market teams often invest heavily in top players. As mega-contracts become more common and payroll sizes continue to grow, some teams view the annual luxury tax threshold as more of an inconvenience than a natural deterrent to spending.

The Houston Astros, whose World Series odds are typically relatively good during the regular season, have a payroll of $180,554,999 in 2023, 22.1% higher than the league average.

On the other hand, the Oakland Athletics have the lowest payroll in 2023 at $42,425,000. The Baltimore Orioles are not far behind, with a payroll of $50,691,666.

1New York Mets$334,233,332
2New York Yankees$267,954,047
3San Diego Padres$236,962,024
4Philadelphia Phillies$231,686,189
5Los Angeles Dodgers$217,612,634
6Toronto Blue Jays$205,715,117
7Los Angeles Angels$204,088,094
8Atlanta Braves$188,277,500
9Texas Rangers$182,832,500
10Houston Astros$180,554,999