Sox Payroll Tenth in Majors, Third in
The Sox began the 1999 season with a payroll of $59,553,500:
third highest in the division, fifth in the AL and tenth in the
majors. As the accompanying table shows, this is typical for the
Sox. The Yankees and Orioles always spend more; this year, so did
the Indians and Rangers, as well as the Braves, Dodgers,
Diamondbacks, Mets and Cubs.
SOX SALARIES, 1995-99
Baltimore and Arizona seem determined to refute the conventional
wisdom that high-salaried teams will dominate the pennant races.
The Diamondbacks spent more than $23 million to upgrade their
rotation with Randy Johnson, Todd Stottlemyre and Andy Benes
– slightly less than Matt Williams, Jay Bell, Steve Finley
and Bernard Gilkey will receive to drag down the offense.
Meanwhile, $30 million of the Orioles’ money goes to Scott
Erickson, Brady Anderson, Juan Guzman, B.J. Surhoff, Mike Bordick
and the decaying shell of Cal Ripken, all of whom will be retired
before the Orioles play another meaningful game in October.
|| Rank in MLB
|| Rank in AL
|| Rank in Division
Despite media laments that “small markets can’t
compete,” Cleveland and Arizona are both among MLB’s
10 smallest markets. (Greater Boston is larger than Cleveland and
Phoenix combined.) The Milwaukee Brewers, who play in MLB’s
smallest market, pay higher salaries than the large-market White
Sox, Tigers or Phillies.
Star players keep finding new ways to enrich themselves at
contract time. Kevin Brown’s notorious seven-year, $105
million deal with the Dodgers is actually worth even more: the
Dodgers “threw in” 12 private jet trips per season
for his family, a perk worth another $600,000/year. Brown also
received eight Dodger season tickets, but he may wish to
renegotiate. Mike Piazza and Randy Johnson received stadium
luxury boxes from their clubs, with Diamondbacks owner Jerry
Colangelo also throwing in in a pair of season tickets to his
Now that all players receive single rooms on road trips,
superstars are upgrading to suites. Kevin Brown, Greg Maddux,
Barry Bonds, and Mike Piazza are among the elite for whom one
room’s not enough.
A few of the Sox have special terms, too. Pedro Martinez'
original deal with the Sox allowed him to demand a trade if the
Sox hadn’t made the playoffs by the time he had pitched 90
games with Boston. The Sox paid him $50,000 last summer to buy
out that clause, then made the playoffs anyhow.
Nomar Garciaparra doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but one
term of his contract could put the Sox in the real-estate
business. If he’s traded and subsequently sells his Boston
residence for less than its appraised value, the Red Sox must pay
him the difference. If he can't sell it within six months,
the Sox must buy it from him at the appraised value.
Bret Saberhagen's 1998 contract contained a $250,000 bonus
for being named Comeback Player of the Year. He was.
Finally, if the thought of Roger Clemens in pinstripes
isn’t torture enough, consider this: the Yankees got
baseball’s biggest bargain. Because the Rocket received a
signing bonus of $9,750,000 from Toronto, his actual 1999 salary
is only $5 million.
Copyright © 1999 Doug Pappas. All rights
Originally published in the May 1999 issue of Boston
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