30 September 2011
This year, the 2011 Playoffs include two playoff teams that rank near the bottom in team payroll. Based on the opening day team salary numbers, the Diamondbacks rank #25 at $53.6M and the Rays are #29 at $41.1M. Interestingly, both teams had cut their payroll significantly this year, with the D'Backs dropping from $60.7M (#24 in 2010) and the Rays coming down from $71.9M (#19).
At the other end of the spectrum are the Yankees and Phillies, whose $202.7M and $173.0M payrolls rank #1 and #2. Filling out the 2011 playoffs are four teams from the middle of the payroll pack - Tigers ($105.7M, #10), Cardinals ($105.4M, #11), Rangers ($92.3M, #13) and the Brewers ($85.5M, #17).
The chart belows shows a graph of team wins plotted with opening day payroll.