Would you believe it’s Houston’s Carlos Lee?
Over at the Baseball-Reference blog, Neil Paine has listed the top 100 salaries as a percentage of a team’s payroll, and Lee holds an edge over Travis Hafner for first place.
Five players are earning more than 20 percent of their team’s payroll (salaries in millions):
1. Carlos Lee (Astros) – $19.0/$70.1 – 26.9%
2. Travis Hafner (Indians) – $13.0/$49.2 – 26.4%
3. Todd Helton (Rockies) – $20.3/$88.1 – 23.0%
4. Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) – $18.0/$86.5 – 20.8%
5. Joe Mauer (Twins) – $23.0/$112.7 – 20.4%
Alex Rodriguez, the game’s highest-paid player comes in at No. 19. His $32 million salary accounts for 15.8 percent of the Yankees’ $202.7 million payroll.
The Red Sox stand out as being exceptionally well balanced. Their high earner, Josh Beckett, makes just 10.5 percent of their payroll ($17.0/$161.8), placing him 80th on the list. To put that in perspective, he accounts for a lower percentage of their payroll than Lyle Overbay does the Pirates or Randy Wolf does the Brewers.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.