As we begin to enter into spring training, the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, and Los Angeles Angels are sitting in the top five in terms of team payroll 2018, according to Spotrac. It is almost hard to fathom how the Colorado Rockies are genuinely going to compete for a World Series against teams that are spending approximately $44M+ more than themselves in a season. It’s not out of the realm of possibility though…
As we take a look back through recent history, it’s hard not to draw parallels between the 2015 Kansas City Royals and the 2018 Colorado Rockies. “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes,” a quote, often attributed to American author Mark Twain, which I think is fitting when comparing teams from different times. So, let’s get into how the ’15 Royals and ’18 Rockies rhyme.
In 2015, the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in five games to win their second World Series in franchise history. Once again referring to our buddies over at Spotrac, they achieved this rare feat while spending just over $132 million, which was $4 million short of the league average that season. It is slightly comforting to know that a team within recent history has won a World Series on a league-average team payroll.
In 2018, the Colorado Rockies have a team payroll of $127 million (as of this writing), with a league average of $119 million this season. However, it does not matter if you have a ton of it, or not enough of it, money alone will not win or lose ball games. We have seen this time and time again. It is all about the front office’s ability to put talent on the field, and the manager’s ability to draw up a blueprint for that talent to succeed.