Oct 5, 2022 - Sports

Rockies can't compete in the money race

Colorado Rockies pitcher Jose Urena reacts to a solo home run by the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3 in Los Angeles. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies' losing season will end Wednesday night.

  • Win or lose, the Blake Street Bombers will finish dead last in the National League West division.

Why it matters: A fourth-consecutive losing season for the Rockies means some soul-searching, though one way to measure the team's future success is its overall payrolls, or the amount it spends on its players.

  • Yes, but: A higher payroll means paying more in penalties.

State of play: Bigger payrolls don't necessarily mean more wins, but there appears to be a correlation, at least this season, Axios' Jeff Tracy and Kendall Baker write.

  • Eight of the teams with the highest payrolls in the top 10 are playoff-bound this year, including the Rockies' division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers (2) and San Diego Padres (6).
  • At least six are projected to pay a luxury tax—a figure calculated by the average value of every player's contract, plus benefits and pre-arbitration bonus program–a record amount.

By the numbers: The Rockies sit in the middle of the pack for overall payroll, projected to be $171.3 million, well outside the amount triggering a luxury tax.

  • For comparison, the club projected to pay the highest luxury tax is the New York Mets, whose payroll sits at $298.8 million. And indeed, the Mets clinched a playoff berth.
  • The luxury tax are supposed to limit the amount of money a team can spend on their roster.

Zoom in: The Rockies’ blockbuster acquisition of former Chicago Cubs third baseman and outfielder Kris Bryant did not work out well, as Bryant dealt with injuries that led to his season ending sooner than expected.

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