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AL out-spends NL by $10 million per team, AL East out-spends other divisions by wide margin

I wrote earlier about the Yankees having MLB’s highest payroll at $202 million, but I decided to crunch a few more numbers using USA Today‘s excellent salary database and break spending down by league and division.

American League teams have an average Opening Day payroll of $97.7 million, compared to $88.6 million for National League teams. And not surprisingly, among divisions the AL East has the highest average payroll:

DIVISION AVGPAY
AL East $110.7
NL East $99.9
AL Wes $96.0
AL Central $86.3
NL Central $84.6
NL West $82.0

Even if you take the Yankees out the mix the other four AL East teams are spending an average of $87.6 million, which is higher than the AL Central, NL Central, and NL West.

There’s at least one $100 million team in every division and all but the AL West have multiple $100 million teams. Somewhat surprisingly the AL Central is the only division with three $100 million teams in the White Sox, Twins, and Tigers. And the AL Central is also the only division with two sub-$50 million teams in the Indians and Royals.