Just a little under a decade ago, having the highest payroll meant a team was destined for October glory. But with the recent success of the Kansas City Royals, that seems to no longer be true. Say what you want about the Kansas City Royals. Call them lucky, or call them something explicit, they brought success back to Western Missouri.
What was once a catacomb of horrific baseball, Kansas City has been forever changed with their 2014 success. And while their season was one for the history books, this Cinderella story was more than a pick-me-up, it was an eye opener for the baseball world. More specifically, it was a wake up call for the Detroit Tigers, whom have been among baseball’s highest payrolls over the past few seasons.
Detroit Tigers Payroll
2011- $ 105,700,231 (10th in baseball)
2012- $ 132,300,000 (5th in baseball)
2013- $ 148,414,500 (5th in baseball)
2014- $ 163,078,526 (4th in baseball)
Kansas City Royals Payroll
2011- $ 36,126,000 (last in baseball)
2012- $ 60,916,225 (27th in baseball)
2013- $ 81,491,725 (19th in baseball)
2014- $ 90,481,500 (18th in baseball)
In those four seasons, the Tigers made three ALCS appearances and one World Series appearance. Not too bad, but never was a championship brought to Motown. And with the payroll, as well as expectations continuing to rise, the Tigers find themselves in the hot seat.
In those four seasons, the Kansas City Royals made one World Series appearance; it’s worth noting they nearly replicated the success of Detroit with almost half the payroll. Over the past few years, Tigers GM David Dombrowski has handed out some lucrative contracts to the likes of Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. The average salary for a Detroit Tiger was $5,824,233 in 2014. All of this gargantuan spending has only gotten fans hopes up over the years, and it seems now that the window is closing with many future question marks
Teams can only be among baseball’s elite for so many seasons, and it’s quite possible time is up for the Tigers. Now there is an issue, as players are being paid millions upon millions for what? The possibility of winning the division?
People seem to get caught up in star power; it’s not a few superstars that will bring success to a franchise, rather a complete team
I’m beginning to think the Tigers had it wrong all along. As much of a bold statement as that it, there’s truth to it.
The Royals have set themselves up for success in years to come by focusing on their farm system and making a complete team. Notable players on their current roster that the Royals have either drafted include Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler, Brandon Finnegan, Alex Gordon, and Greg Holland.
This is a stark contrast to the Tigers, where Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Alex Avila, and Nick Castellanos are the only significant drafted players. Names such as Miguel Cabrera, Anibal Sanchez, Ian Kinsler, and Victor Martinez were all either acquired by trade or signed as free agents.
The take away from all of this is that the Tigers have put a lot of money into their team and have garnered little result, giving fans a dark future. As where the Royals have done the exact opposite and have had just as much success.