Carlos Lee

Who earns the highest percentage of his team’s payroll?


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.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.