The most expensive lineup in baseball this season costs $19,388,895 and doesn’t even include Jose Canseco and Kirby Puckett.
The best lineup in baseball, using the 1988 Associated Press major league All-Star team, goes for about $7.5 million less.
In fact, Orel Hershiser of the Dodgers is one of only two AP All-Stars to make the All-Money team. His 1989 salary, including a prorated share of his signing bonus, is $2,766,667, the highest in baseball this season.
On the All-Money team, Hershiser would throw to Gary Carter of the New York Mets ($2,160,714). The infield would feature Eddie Murray of the Dodgers at first base ($2,244,462), Juan Samuel of the Philadelphia Phillies at second base ($1.45 million), Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles at shortstop ($2,466,667) and Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox at third base ($1.725 million), the only other All-Star on the team other than Hershiser.
Samuel played second base last season but Philadelphia is planning to on move him to the outfield this year. If he weren’t counted, Steve Sax of the New York Yankees would take over at $1,266,667.
The most expensive outfield in baseball would have Jim Rice of the Boston Red Sox ($2,325,385) in left field, Andy Van Slyke of the Pittsburgh Pirates ($2.15 million) in center field and Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs ($2.1 million) in right field.
Salaries were obtained by the AP from several player and management sources. For Murray and Rice, income deferred without interest is discounted to reflect present-day value.
The most expensive lineup has an composite batting average of .283 with 18 home runs and 73 runs batted in, not including Hershiser, the pitcher. For $7,747,728 less, the AP All-Stars average .309 with 19 homers and 89 RBIs.
Catching Hershiser on the AP All-Stars would be Benito Santiago of the San Diego Padres, who at $310,000 once again is the least-highly paid player on the AP All-Stars. He’s also only one of two AP All-Stars not yet eligible for salary arbitration. Boston outfielder Mike Greenwell is the other.
At first base is Will Clark of the San Francisco Giants ($1.125 million), at second base is Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs ($890,000), at shortstop is Alan Trammell of the Detroit Tigers ($1 million) and at third base is Boston’s Boggs.
In the outfield are Puckett of the Minnesota Twins ($2 million) in center field, Canseco of the Oakland Athletics ($1.6 million) in right field and Greenwell of the Red Sox ($500,000) in left field.
The AP All-Star team is actually less expensive than it was last year, when the payroll of the 1987 All-Stars was $12,101,823. This year the AP All-Stars’ payroll is $11,916,667, a 1.5% decrease and an average of $1.32 million per player.
The payroll of the All-Money team increased 5.0% from last season’s $18,469,222 and the players earn an average of $2.15 million.