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https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-current ... -payrolls/
The Current State of 2021 Team Payrolls
by Craig Edwards
December 8, 2020
If the season started tomorrow, salaries would be down nearly a billion dollars compared to where they were last season. The teams that have seen their payrolls decrease the most are the Yankees, who seem likely to spend some money, the Rangers (who don’t), as well as the Cubs, Astros, and Phillies (spending unknown). The Blue Jays look like they might spend some; we don’t yet know about the Twins. The Tigers had Jordan Zimmerman‘s $25 million salary come off the books while the Cardinals have seen Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Kolten Wong hit free agency and Brett Cecil’s contract expire. The Mets are expected to spend with new owner Steve Cohen.
If spending last winter is matched this winter, payroll is going to be down about $450 million from where it was going to be last year before the pandemic. By sheer numbers, it would be the biggest decrease in history (though the players didn’t actually get paid the expected amount last year), and by percentage drop, we are likely to see the biggest change in payroll in at least 35 years. We could see what might be considered a normal offseason in free agency from here on out and there’s going to be a significant drop in payroll. Much of this has been coming, as owners have moved away from long-term deals and prepared for the potential of a stoppage ahead of the coming CBA negotiations for the 2022 season. The pandemic has possible exacerbated some of these changes, but the end result is likely going to be the lowest average payroll since 2015.