• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Rays Turn Tiny Payroll Into Historic Start

  • The Tampa Bay Rays are on the cusp of a historic start to the MLB season, and they're doing it with the league's fourth lowest payroll.
  • The team has largely eschewed the free agent market in sourcing talent.
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (8) is congratulated by shortstop Wander Franco (5) after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning at Tropicana Field.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The 13-0 Tampa Bay Rays are chasing the best start in MLB history — while paying their team less than what the New York Mets are paying for two pitchers.

With the fourth-lowest payroll in MLB at $77 million, the Rays have maximized the bang for their buck by taking advantage of  MLB salary rules regarding young players. Players in their first three years generally make league-minimum salaries, followed by three years of arbitration.

The Rays have ample star power at very low prices:

  • Cy Young hopeful Shane McClanahan and the quietly excellent Drew Rasmussen make league minimum salaries under $800,000.
  • Emerging star Wander Franco signed an 11-year, $182 million extension but is making $2.5 million this year. The Rays were able to leverage the fact that he would have been making the league minimum.
  • Star outfielder Randy Arozarena is making $4.2 million in his first year of arbitration.

MLB Can Change the Game, But Can’t Control It

Teams might redefine the value of prototypical players and an efficient team.
April 1, 2023

The team tends to do little in the free-agent market, where players can offer their services to any team with no restrictions. The Rays’ signing of Zach Eflin to a three-year, $40 million contract last offseason was the largest free-agent signing in the team’s history. 

There were 20 larger deals in the most recent offseason alone.

With a win tonight in Toronto, the Rays can secure the longest season-opening streak since 1884, when the St. Louis Maroons began the season 20-0.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Knicks’ Resurgence Marks Peak in Dolan’s Sports Domain

The team’s on-court success is fueling a series of gains off it.

States Want Tax Reform As Ohtani’s Deal Deferrals Stir Controversy

California legislators heighten their push for new tax rules around deferred compensation.

Wrexham, Leverkusen Write Hollywood Stories

The guaranteed payoff for Wrexham is modest but still significant.

Fever Keeping Plans Quiet (for Now), Unlike Spurs and Blackhawks

The Fever’s business approach differs from recent rookie phenoms in other leagues.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Orioles Call Up Jackson Holliday Right Before Service Time Cutoff

Holliday is still in line to earn a full year of MLB service time.
April 3, 2024

A’s Could Be Inching Toward Sacramento Move After Week of Local Meetings

Oakland wants the A’s to pay top dollar on their way out.
April 9, 2024

Champions League Hosts Ramp Up Security Amid ISIS Threat

Cities are increasing police presence after social media posts.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 2, 2024

Larry Lucchino, One of Baseball’s Most Influential Executives, Dies at 78

The former Red Sox president and CEO helped lead the resurgence of that franchise.
March 29, 2024

A-Rod Group Vows to Take ‘Whatever Actions Are Necessary’ in Fight for Timberwolves

The fight to for control of the Timberwolves is far from over.
March 29, 2024

Saints Say Brand-New Cafeteria Has Nothing To Do With Player Complaints

Fixing the situation will involve relocating training camp 1,900 miles west.
March 29, 2024

A’s Face Uphill Battle: Fans Protest on Opening Day As Vegas Move Looms

The club draws a sparse crowd for Opening Day, with likely many more such games to come.