Sure, we’re barely a week into the new season, but so far those two teams are certainly getting a bang for the buck. Each is hovering around the middle of the pack in terms of payroll. The Nationals’ payroll for 2014 is just under $137 million, ninth biggest in MLB.
The Brewers’ payroll is a bit over $103 million, 16th in the major leagues.
Is there a correlation between payroll and performance? The question is asked every year. The Dodgers and Yankees seem to think so. They’re the top two teams in player payroll again this season, the Dodgers topping out at No. 1 at a bit over $229 million, the Yankees not too far behind at just over $197 million.
Last year the Yankees topped the list and the Dodgers were second; that didn’t necessarily translate to the field. The Yankees failed to make the playoffs. The Dodgers managed to get to the National League Championship Series before losing to St. Louis.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Tampa Bay Rays had the third-lowest payroll in the majors last season and reached the ALDS.
Spend some time with this interactive Times graphic, which shows each team's payroll by player and position, and see how your team ranks against any other one. You’ll get some help in deciding just how much happiness money can buy.