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Highest MLB Team Payrolls of 2022

With 2022 MLB Opening Day finally here, which teams have the highest and lowest payrolls in baseball? Who’s spending more, and who cut salary? Boardroom has the answers.

We weren’t sure we’d get here, but MLB Opening Day has finally arrived.

The new collective bargaining agreement has higher luxury taxes to promote spending and even a new topline “Steve Cohen tax” to prevent a team like the New York Mets from blowing everyone else out of the water regarding roster payroll. But it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers that have baseball’s highest spending bill to open the 2022 campaign, one that’s nearly 10 times that of the lowest-spending Baltimore Orioles. (That’s a big reason why we at Boardroom are advocating for a salary floor to promote competitiveness from all 30 clubs.)

With numbers via Spotrac, here are the top and bottom payrolls entering the 2022 MLB season, as well as how these figures either grew or shrank compared to 2021.

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10 Highest MLB Payrolls 2022

Dollar figures updated as of Aug. 8, 2022.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: $265,396,675
  • 2021 Payroll: $266,020,809
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $277,108,333 (+4.17% year over year)
2. New York Mets: $261,273,320
  • 2021 Payroll: $201,189,189
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $253,119,999 (+25.81% YoY)
3. New York Yankees: $251,889,255
  • 2021 Payroll: $205,869,863
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $240,290,714 (+16.83% YoY)
4. Philadelphia Phillies: $242,215,746
  • 2021 Payroll: $197,213,223
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $221,738,462 (+12.44% YoY)
5. San Diego Padres: $220,849,135
  • 2021 Payroll: $179,764,272
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $208,772,618 (+16.14% YoY)
6. Boston Red Sox: $207,710,905
  • 2021 Payroll: $187,100,784
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $195,166,000 (+4.31% YoY)
7. Chicago White Sox: $196,381,026
  • 2021 Payroll: $140,926,169
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $181,660,734 (+28.90% YoY)
8. Houston Astros: $182,896,299
  • 2021 Payroll: $194,472,041
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $163,939,599 (-15.70% YoY)
9. Atlanta Braves: $181,813,470
  • 2021 Payroll: $153,060,458
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $173,935,000 (+13.64% YoY)
10. Los Angeles Angels: $169,413,094
  • 2021 Payroll: $180,349,558
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $169,413,094 (-6.06% YoY)

10 Lowest MLB Payrolls 2022

30. Baltimore Orioles: $43,645,896
  • 2021 Payroll: $42,421,870
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $30,221,166 (-28.76% year over year)
29. Oakland A’s: $45,512,854
  • 2021 Payroll: $90,400,598
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $32,548,334 (-64.00% YoY)
28. Pittsburgh Pirates: $66,069,163
  • 2021 Payroll: $54,356,609
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $37,875,000 (-30.32% YoY)
27. Cleveland Guardians: $67,827,391
  • 2021 Payroll: $50,670,534
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $42,310,000 (-16.50% YoY)
26. Miami Marlins: $83,333,568
  • 2021 Payroll: $58,157,900
  • 2022 Opening Day Payroll: $69,000,000 (-18.64% YoY)

Largest MLB Payroll Increases From 2021 to Opening Day 2022

  1. Texas Rangers: +40.89%
  2. Detroit Tigers: +34.38%
  3. Chicago White Sox: +28.90%
  4. New York Mets: +25.81%
  5. Milwaukee Brewers: +23.05%
  6. Miami Marlins: +18.64%
  7. New York Yankees: +16.83%
  8. San Diego Padres: +16.14%
  9. Atlanta Braves: +13.64%
  10. Philadelphia Phillies: +12.44%

Jordan Lyles ended 2021 as Texas’s highest-paid player at $8 million. This time around, the Rangers splurged in free agency over the winter on All-Star shortstop Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million), All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien (seven years, $175 million), and starting pitcher Jon Gray (four years, $56 million) to significantly boost payroll. Detroit ponied up as well, signing shortstop Javier Baez to a six-year, $140 million deal.

1B Freddie Freeman was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ highest-profile addition this offseason (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Largest MLB Payroll Decreases From 2021 to Opening Day 2022

  1. Oakland A’s: -64.00%
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates: -30.32%
  3. Baltimore Orioles: -28.76%
  4. Cincinnati Reds: -20.90%
  5. Washington Nationals: -20.63%
  6. Kansas City Royals: -19.09%
  7. San Francisco Giants: -17.22%
  8. Arizona Diamondbacks: -16.70
  9. Cleveland Guardians: -16.50%
  10. Houston Astros: -15.70%

Meanwhile, the Rangers’ American League West rivals in Oakland completed an offseason teardown, trading All-Star first baseman Matt Olson to Atlanta, All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman to Toronto, starting pitcher Sean Manaea to San Diego, and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to the New York Mets, among others.

It’s either a whole new definition of Moneyball… or Okland’s fullest embrace of the tankathon yet.

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