Sixteen MLB teams cut payroll for the 2009 season, including — surprise! — the New York Yankees.Sixteen MLB teams cut payroll for the 2009 season, including — surprise! — the New York Yankees. All in all, MLB payrolls are down some $47 million from 2008, a 1.7 percent drop and the first since 2004.
The reason? Obviously, the bad economy. Teams were bracing for a slow 2009 and made plenty of adjustments in the offseason. The line we kept hearing from team officials across the country: they were expecting increases in attendance but decreases in revenue, a shortfall fueled by the loss of sponsorship dollars.
Still, it’s interesting to see who increased and who decreased, Despite the additions of C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett and their large contracts, the Yankees shed some other huge contracts (Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu) and brought back other players (like Andy Pettitte) at a lower cost. The San Diego Padres dumped over $30 million in payroll, as did the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.
Those adding payroll? The Cubs invested in Milton Bradley in the hopes of making it over the hump, while Tampa Bay and Florida really had nowhere to go but up given their payrolls last season.
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