Zack Greinke breezed the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. Greinke struck out six and allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings, meanwhile Andre Ethier hit a solo home run. Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez created the other two Dodgers runs… and that was about it. The Pirates did not put up much of a fight in this tilt, and only managed two hits the entire game.
From the Dodgers payroll standpoint, this has to look like some big investments paying off.
Adrian Gonzalez $21 million 2-4 1 RBI
Matt Kemp $22 M 1-4 1 RBI
Andre Ethier $13.5 M 1-3 Solo HR
Zack Greinke $24 M 6.1 IP, O ERA
Brandon League $5.5 M Save, 0 Hits Allowed
Those five players were responsible for driving in every run and recording the first and last outs of todays game, and their salaries add up to a staggering $86 million.
That’s right, $86 million of the Dodgers’ MLB high $213M payroll go to those five players, so I figured I’d have fun and compare that number to other major league teams, starting with their opponent tonight the Pirates, whose entire teams payroll is $55 million.
The Pirates are just the tip of the iceberg however, the $86M the Dodgers pay Gonzalez, Kemp, Ethier, Greinke and League does not include the: $20M Carl Crawford earns (0-4, 2 K’s), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5M, DL) or Clayton Kershaw (13M, which they pay that with a smile).
Still, counting only the $86M tied into those five the Dodgers would still have a higher payroll that 14 major league teams, which was the size of the American League, until this year. Most notably the Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals, also $9M more than the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins combined.
The Dodgers got their big money players to play well tonight; the key to their season is that trend continuing. Los Angeles Dodgers is under new management, whether they are under better management remains to be seen.