Blog Entry

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

Posted on: July 7, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:52 pm

By Matt Snyder

In our ongoing series of more creative All-Star teams than simply going NL vs. AL, we're going to look at some of the players making the most money against some of the players making the least money in the 2011 season. The initial idea was to form a team with players making eight figures (that's at least $10 million) this season against a team with players who make no more than $5 million, but then I felt like I wanted a bigger gap. Plus, if I kept the threshold lower for the high-salary guys, we'd have a veritable repeat of our old vs. young All-Stars. If we use $14 million as the baseline for the rich guys and $2 million as the maximum for the less-rich guys, we get two different teams that could be pretty comparable in on-field production in 2011.

High-Salary Team

Catcher - It's just Joe Mauer here, who is taking home a cool $23 million this season.

First Base - Teams pay for power, so we're choosing from Mark Teixeira, Todd Helton, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Justin Morneau and Albert Pujols. Going on this season alone, Fielder ($15.5 million) is the pick.

Second Base - Only Chase Utley ($15,285,714) is above the threshold.

Shortstop - Derek Jeter ($14,729,364) is on his own here as well.

Third Base - Alex Rodriguez makes more than twice the minimum to be in this group, so, uh, wow. Aramis Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, David Wright and Chipper Jones are all taking home $14-$15 million this year. A-Rod ($32 million) is the pick.

Outfield - There are 11 here and most -- like Kosuke Fukudome, J.D. Drew, Jason Bay and Alfonso Soriano -- are criminally overpaid. Vernon Wells is the highest paid outfielder by almost $7 million, too. But we're trying to make a good team, so we'll slide Torii Hunter ($18.5 million) back to center (there are no center fielders in the group), go with Matt Holliday ($16,317,774) in left and Carlos Beltran ($19,325,436) in right.

Designated Hitter - Michael Young ($16,174,974) is the only qualifier.

Pitchers - Only 15 pitchers in baseball make more than $14 million, and Mariano Rivera ($14,911,700) is the only reliever, so he's our closer. Some of the others are injured (Johan Santana) badly overpaid (Carlos Zambrano, John Lackey, Barry Zito) or just too old to make that kind of money (Derek Lowe). I decided to pick three starters for this exercise, though, so Roy Halladay ($20 million), CC Sabathia ($24,285,714) and Josh Beckett ($17 million) edge out Tim Lincecum ($14 million).

Starting Lineup
1. Michael Young, DH
2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
6. Carlos Beltran, RF
7. Torii Hunter, CF
8. Derek Jeter, SS
9. Joe Mauer, C
SP: Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett
RP: Mariano Rivera

Lots of name recognition, that's for sure. Let's see how the cheap guys stack up.

(Relatively) Low-Salary Team

Catcher - There are obviously a lot more players making less than $2 million than those making above $14 million, so we're going to keep this succinct. I chose between Carlos Santana, Matt Wieters and Alex Avila. Avila is the pick.

First Base - Best options were Michael Morse, Gaby Sanchez and Justin Smoak. I'm picking Morse, but it's a toss up.

Second Base - Neil Walker and Ryan Roberts were in the mix, but it has to be Danny Espinosa.

Shortstop - Elvis Andrus and Alcides Escobar (for defense only) were slight considerations, but we're going to Starlin Castro here.

Third Base - Pablo Sandoval and Evan Longoria are the two best options here. I went with Pablo on the Under-30 All-Stars based upon this season, so we'll flip it up and go with Longoria here, just for the sake of variety.

Outfield - There are far too many reasonable options to list all of them, but names like Matt Joyce, Jason Heyward, Seth Smith, Brennan Boesch and Colby Rasmus were on the list of omissions. We're going on 2011 performance, so it's Carlos Gonzalez in left, Andrew McCutchen in center and Matt Joyce in right.

Designated Hitter: Of the teams who have an actual, everyday DH, none qualify. It makes sense, as most of those guys are sluggers.  So we'll draw from above and it comes down to Sanchez and Boesch. It is, again, a toss up, but we'll go with Boesch.

Pitchers: There are tons of arms included here, obviously. Names like Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Ricky Romero, Jordan Zimmermann, Michael Pineda, Justin Masterson and Ian Kennedy are among the best not making the cut. We're going with Clayton Kershaw, Tommy Hanson and Alexi Ogando this time around, though. As for relievers, Joel Hanrahan has been perfect on save chances this year, so it's him. He makes it over some young studs like Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel, John Axford, Drew Storen Jordan Walden and Neftali Feliz.

Starting Lineup
1. Danny Espinosa, 2B ($415,000)
2. Andrew McCutchen, CF ($452,500)
3. Evan Longoria, 3B ($2 million)
4. Carlos Gonzalez, LF ($1,428,571)
5. Michael Morse, 1B ($1.05 million)
6. Brennan Boesch, DH ($430,000)
7. Matt Joyce, RF (426,500)
8. Alex Avila, C ($425,000)
9. Starlin Castro, SS ($440,000)
SP: Clayton Kershaw ($500,000), Tommy Hanson ($456,500), Alexi Ogando ($430,150)
RP: Joel Hanrahan ($1.4 million)

So, what do you think? A lot closer than one would think based purely upon salaries. Obviously there are many, many players excluded -- those who make between $2 million and $14 million a year. I think the high-priced team looks a bit better on paper -- especially with all that power through the middle of the order -- but there are injury and age questions. The low-priced guys would be competitive in a seven-game series and have a more balanced batting order.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:21 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 8:47 am

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 10:01 am

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

I basically appreciated browsing at this text. Fantastic motion by action description!

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: July 10, 2011 12:48 pm

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

Ian Kennedy not getting in or even picked as a sub is a joke.

Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: July 10, 2011 7:15 am

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

to answer natejow's question, they put a zero to much in jeters contract. he is more a 1,4 mill player then a 14 mill player, and that for some years. hitting has been ok but he plays ss on a dime, thats his range. a hard ball hit 5 feet next to him he won't get to, and never has. HE IS WAY OVERPAID BY TEH WANKEES

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:45 am

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

There are really some people posting here that know nothing about sports. Why are you even reading this column or trying to voice your opinion if you are oblivious to the situation?

First of all, the guy who made the "bad agents" comment. Nothing can be said. You clearly know nothing about the rules of baseball.

Second, to redwingfan, not only is your comment terribly hard to read but your thoughts about the Rangers are way off base. Vlad Guerrero was pretty expensive relative to other players that could have been signed for equal money. Just thank god Texas didn't make the mistake of signing him again this year. Also, Josh Hamilton was not a "signing" he was traded by the Reds in exchange for Edinson Volquez and (I think, but don't quote me) Nick Masset.

As has been pleaded by numerous before me, if you do not know what you are talking about, stop diluting the conversation. 

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:32 pm

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

wow, this was a great post, took a lot of time.
Is jeter really that good????????????????
Please somebody answer this  question.

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2011 5:50 pm

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

I think the Blue Jays owner is like the LA Clippers owner, as long as hes making money he doesnt care. The guy let his GM get rid of Roy Halladay for cripes sake.

The differnce is that the Clippers fans KNOW they are horrific. Most Jays fans are still buying the "two years away" BS.

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2011 5:43 pm

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

You guys defending the Halladay trade are drinking the Rogers Kool-Aid. Rogers made $4.53 billion in PROFITS last year. The point is that it would take Rogers only 8 days profit to add $100 million to the Jay's salary. If Rogers started doing that 5 years ago, Halladay wouldn't have needed to go elsewhere to be with a good them, Toronto would be that team.

No, spending money does not automatically equal success, but Toronto has gone from the top salary in 1993 with $57 million to 23rd this season at $63 million.

With Roger's refusal to spend any money on the Jays, the only way the team can get better is the Jack and the Beanstalk approach. Keep selling the prize cows for magic beans, shovel a lot of sh it on top, and hope that they grow into something good.

Toronto fans deserve better. Stop drinking the Kool-aid of the 19th annual "2 years away" program. 

Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2011 12:49 pm

High-Salary vs. Low-Salary All-Stars

I think the Blue Jays owner is like the LA Clippers owner, as long as hes making money he doesnt care. The guy let his GM get rid of Roy Halladay for cripes sake.

Don't post if you know NOTHING of the situation.

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