Forbes magazine’s website has broken down the most and least efficient teams in the major leagues, with efficiency being a measurement of how much, or how little, a team spent per win.
As a rule, higher payrolls should yield higher wins, and vice verse. Forbes gauged efficiency using an arbitrary number of wins to figure out which teams got their money’s worth from their players.
Take it away Forbes…
The average payroll cost per win for MLB teams in 2010 was $1.1 million, and the median was $1.06 million; The San Diego Padres had the lowest payroll cost per win at $419,656 while the New York Yankees had the highest payroll cost per win at $2.17 million.
To gauge efficiency, I combine these cost figures with a practical albeit arbitrary win total to assess which clubs had the best and worst seasons from the practical standpoint of not only getting their money’s worth from player performance but also focusing on win totals.
The criteria for the ‘most efficient’ teams is combining low ‘cost per win’ with at least 87 wins (5 games above .500).
The criteria for the ‘least efficient’ teams is combining high ‘costs per win’ with a non-winning season (i.e. 81 or fewer wins)
The Padres were by far the most efficient team, spending a measly $419,656 for each one of their 90 wins, which seems pretty good for a team who was but one win from the playoffs.
As for the least efficient club?
Your Chicago Cubs, coming in with an astounding $1.96 million per win, following a sub-par 75-87 season. That’s especially brutal considering the Cubbies sported the third highest payroll in all of baseball, at a whopping $146.5 million. Not that big a shock, is it? Coming in just behind the Cubs, at $1.68 million per win, the not quite equally woeful New York Mets. Again, very little surprise there. Both the Cubs and Mets have become famous for overspending with little to show in return…or maybe you think Alfonso Soriano is worth $19 million a year?
Still, ya gotta love those Chicago Cubs—they may be dead last in fiscal efficiency, but they’ll always be first in our hearts.