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

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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.