The O’s payroll is one of the ugliest in baseball
The Orioles have been all too happy to spend their money over the past few seasons, but they haven’t always been smart about it. The weekend series was a sobering reminder of just how bad things have gotten.
The Orioles payroll for 2018 is around $152 million, more than twice as much as the Athletics’ relatively paltry sum of $68 million. But at 18-16, the A’s have more than twice as many wins as the O’s, underscoring the perils of spending on premium free agents.
Case in point: when fan favorite Chris Davis became a free agent after the 2015 season, the Orioles let him sit on the market until late January — and then signed him to a seven-year, $161 million deal, putting him at $23 million a season. Since then, the first baseman has slashed .214/.318/.425, including a nightmarish .171/.264/.243 line this season.
The stingy A’s have a discount version, right down to the name: designated hitter Khris Davis. But while he’s not even half as expensive, making $10.5 million this year, the slugger has vastly outproduced his Baltimore counterpart. His .244/.320/.522 line since the start of 2016 includes a pair of home runs against the Birds this past weekend.
It’s the same story up and down the payroll. Mark Trumbo and Darren O’Day haven’t come close to justifying their bloated contracts, and while Adam Jones is a franchise icon, he’s not worth his $17 million salary anymore. Meanwhile, Davis is the only Athletic making more than $10 million this year.
With a rebuild imminent, Baltimore’s payroll will shrink soon. But if the O’s looking for a bit of inspiration for constructing their next contender, it might not be a bad idea to look at the roster that just beat them so soundly.