There was so much going on late last week with the whole Josh Hamilton saga that that I didn’t have time to include the final 2012 MLB payroll figures as reported by the MLB head office and obtained by Associated Press. Now, these are usually different from the ones we give you on Opening Day in that they include all costs paid out for players on the 40-man roster throughout the course of a season, as opposed to the 25-man major league squad on the first day of the season.
In the case of the Mariners, they ended at $84.4 million. That’s 21st in MLB and 10th in the AL.
For comparison’s sake, the Mariners ended 2011 at $98 million, which was 14th in MLB and 8th in the AL.
The AP puts out the final figures each year and says they are: for 40-man rosters and include salaries and pro-rated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted to reflect present-day values.
So, the Opening Day payrolls are where the team began each season, looking at where money would be spent if the season ended that same day. Naturally, things happen throughout the course of a season that can alter those April intentions. When salaries are shed via trade and other player movement takes place, things change. These figures I’m giving you now are for all the money teams wound up spending on player payroll in the given year.
In some ways, the end of season payroll is more reflective of a team’s true intentions in any given year than is the Opening Day version. After all, a team can begin the year with a big payroll, then dump players at the trade deadline and wind up fielding a Class AAA squad the final two months. Likewise, a team can start off small, but with plans for a mid-season boost if they stay in contention.
Worth noting as well is that these numbers are not somebody’s payroll guess. These are the official figures required to be reported to MLB’s head office for purposes connected to the collective bargaining agreement. In other words, teams cannot dispute these figures after-the-fact.
Here’s a look at Mariners payroll finishes this season and the five years prior (MLB rank in parantheses):
2012 — $84.4 million (21st)
2011 — $98 million (14th)
2010 — $93.4 million (14th)
2009 — $102.3 million (12th)
2008 — $120.4 million (8th)
2007 — $114.4 million (6th)
2012 FINAL MLB PAYROLL AS REPORTED BY AP
N.Y. Yankees $223,302,212
L.A. Angels 160,146,581
San Francisco 138,149,994
L.A. Dodgers 129,080,186
St. Louis 115,449,953
Chicago Cubs 107,708,021
N.Y. Mets 103,710,802
Chicago White Sox 101,763,212
Tampa Bay 70,425,489
Kansas City 68,609,031
San Diego 62,878,686