Rich Lederer of The Baseball Analysts lays the 2007 MLB team payroll figures against the team victory totals to gauge which clubs spent their money most (and least) efficiently in the season past.

You can follow the link to see the telling graphic analysis. But here is a summary of Lederer's conclusions:

"There were five clubs that won more than 81 games with payrolls under the average of $90.4M. The best of the best was Cleveland, followed by Colorado, Arizona, San Diego, and Milwaukee...

"The Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, and Atlanta Braves also deserve praise for their payroll efficiency. The Angels and Phillies won division titles before falling in their respective League Championship Series. In the meantime, the Minnesota Twins, Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays should share the award for doing the best while pinching pennies.

"Moving to the least efficient teams, Baltimore, San Francisco, Chicago White Sox, and Houston failed miserably in their quest to buy a division title, much less a league or world championship...(They) get the booby-prize award for (mis)managing payroll efficiency."

The Cubs? As you might have guessed, Team Hendry resided in the same quadrant of Lederer's graph as clubs like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Mariners and Dodgers, i.e., organizations that won more than half of their games (in the Sox' and Yankees' cases, many, many more than half), but wrote plenty of big checks on their way to doing so.

As Lederer says, within this group, only Boston, the Yanks, and the Cubs truly "got something in return for their large commitment to player payroll."

I wish we had gotten as much as the Red Sox.


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