Four Philadelphia Phillies will make more money in 2013 than the entire Houston Astros team. So will three New York Yankees, three Los Angeles Dodgers, three Detroit Tigers and three San Francisco Giants.
All total, 20 deep-pocketed players are set to earn more than the payroll-shredding, rebuilding Astros. After Monday's trade that sent Jed Lowrie to Oakland, Houston's 2013 obligations are less than $25 million. That number is the lowest since the 2006 Florida Marlins had a payroll just below $15 million.
If you subtract the $5 million Houston is paying Wandy Rodriguez — who, as Jeff Passan notes, is the team's highest-paid player this season and just happens to be a Pittsburgh Pirate (oops!) — then the actual Astros roster will be paid less than $20 million. Barring any last-minute moves, of course.
You might see $20 million and think, "C'mon, A-Rod and his bad hip make more than that in a year." And they do. Worth-every-penny guys like Miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez and Matt Kemp do too. The former Cy Young winner turned bullpen guy in San Francisco and the odd-man-out outfielder in an Angels uniform? Their checks are also fatter than all the Astros.
Here's the full list, but we should note: exact salaries are hard to come by. We used the numbers from Baseball Prospectus and included signing bonuses that are spread out over the life of a contract. These numbers could swell further with performance bonuses.
Johan Santana, $25.5M
Cliff Lee, $25M
Mark Teixeira, $23.25M
C.C. Sabathia, $23M
Prince Fielder, $23M
Joe Mauer, $23M
Tim Lincecum, $22.25M
Adrian Gonzalez, $21.86M
Miguel Cabrera, $21M
Vernon Wells, $21M
Carl Crawford, $20.86M
Matt Cain, $20.83M
Cole Hamels, $20.5M
Matt Kemp, $20.25M
Felix Hernandez, $20.2M
Justin Verlander, $20.1M
Roy Halladay, $20M
Ryan Howard, $20M
Barry Zito, $20M
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