The Oakland Athletics begin their season in Philadelphia on Friday. The A's will trot out the second lowest payroll in baseball at approximately $32.5 million according to Spotrac. That's quite a dip from last season when they spent over $90 million on payroll, but it's not as shocking as learning that the A's payroll over 30 years ago was $33.6 million. Back then they outspent every other team.
The team with the second highest payroll in '91 was the Los Angeles Dodgers at just over $33 million on a roster that included Daryl Strawberry, Eddie Murray and Mike Scioscia. Three decades later the Dodgers have the highest payroll and are spending $277.8 million.
With inflation alone, the A's should be paying $68 million this season. The Dodgers are spending four times that. Perhaps that's why the Dodgers won the World Series two seasons ago and are hoping to do it again this year while the A's haven't won since 1989.
Of course, the A's aren't the only team spending a hilariously small amountt his season. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Guardians are both spending $30-something million this season. And most importantly, the Baltimore Orioles are spending $31.7 million, which is less than 11 individual players are making this season. Max Scherzer is making more this season ($43 million) than every team mentioned in this paragraph.