The Royals have the most equally-distributed payroll in baseball


This is a fun analysis from Nicholas Wells at CNBC’s The Big Crunch. It’s a breakdown of all 30 teams’ payrolls based on equality of distribution across the roster. Who’s top-heavy, who’s not, all measured using Gini coefficient, which is a statistical measure of income inequality. Usually it’s meant to measure income inequality in countries, but it works for a roster well enough.

If I were to have guessed out of the blue before reading the article I would’ve thought that some bad team like the Marlins had the most equal pay (i.e. no one makes anything). But one outlier like Giancarlo Stanton, of course, throws that off. Same with the Phillies and Ryan Howard. The Astros would’ve been another strong guess, I figured, based on all of their rookies and the fact that they were a bad team last year. But nope. It’s actually a good team, with veterans, that has been good for a couple of years that has the flattest payroll:

A Big Crunch analysis shows the Royals’ payroll is the most equally distributed among its players, based on the average yearly pay for their current contracts.

So the team most people think is named after monarchy (it’s actually named after a livestock show, but never mind that for a moment) is the most commie team out there. Good to know!

The Big Crunch makes an argument that, perhaps, flat salaries on a sports team lead to better sports teams due to various psychological factors. I’m not sure I buy that, but the argument is there for your edification.