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Most fans know that The New York Yankees are the biggest spenders in major league baseball and likewise that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the most frugal franchise, at least as far as player payroll is concerned. 

But who knows which major league teams, in particular the contenders, are getting the “most bang for the buck” in 2007?  It’s just past the midway point of the season, and therefore it’s an appropriate time to begin to assess what I call WIN-VALUE.  What teams are spending their money most effieciently.

My homespun methodology (entirely unscientific) is that a team gets 2 points for a win and -1 for a loss. By design, system benefits those teams whose records are over .500, mainly because it is each and every one of those wins over the .500 mark that are crucial for a team if they wish to contend.  The vast majority of major league teams finish with winning percentages somewhere between .400 and .600; those who approach—or exceed—the .600 plateau (98 wins) are clear favorites to be in the hunt for the post-season festivities.

So under the WIN-VALUE rubric, a team with a 44-44 record (as several teams actually had at the All-Star Break) gets 44 Win Points [(44W times 2) minus 44L = 44WP].  This seems fair enough.  So, teams with a 43-45 record get 41 WP, and those with a 45-43 record get 47WP; again, all on the assumption that each win over .500 is worth more than a win under .500.

I then take each team’s WP and divide it into that team's player payroll to determine which teams have been most "efficient" with their allocation of on-field resources.  Note, this methodology takes into account only player payroll, not total organizational payroll.

Obviously, the Yankees will be in a class by themselves, what with the highest payroll, and a sub-.500 season (at the ASB), having managed to spend $4,620,000 per win. On the other end of the spectrum, the Marlins have spent the least amount of money for each win ($820,000), but by the same token they are not really in contention (yet).

Of the contenders at the All-Star Break, here are the leaders:

Team (W-L record at ASB)
WP            
 Player Payroll Win-Value (millions)
Cleveland Indians (52-36)  68  $ 61,673,267  $0.91
San Diego Padres (49-38)  60  $ 58,110,567  $0.97
Arizona Diamondbacks (47-43)  51  $ 52,067,546  $1.02
Milwaukee Brewers (49-39)  59  $ 70,986,500  $1.20
Detroit Tigers (52-34)  70  $ 95,180,369  $1.36
Los Angeles Angels (53-35)  70  $ 109,251,333  $1.54
Atlanta Braves (47-42)  52  $ 87,290,833  $1.68
Seattle Mariners (49-36)  62  $ 106,460,833  $1.72
Los Angeles Dodgers (49-40)  58  $ 108,454,524  $1.87
Boston Red Sox (53-34)  72  $ 143,026,214  $1.99
New York Mets (48-39)  57  $ 115,231,663  $2.0


Others:

Team (W-L record at ASB)  WP              Player Payroll  Win-Value (millions)
New York Yankees (42-43)  41  $ 189,639,045
 $4.62
Chicago White Sox (39-47)  31  $ 108,671,833  $3.505
Baltimore Orioles (38-49)  27  $ 93,554,808  $3.46
Cincinnati Reds (36-52)
 20  $ 68,904,980  $3.45
San Francisco Giants (38-48)  28  $ 90,219,056  $3.22
Houston Astros (39-50)  28  $ 87,759,000  $3.20
Texas Rangers (38-50)  26  $ 68,318,675  $2.63
Kansas City Royals (38-50)
 26  $ 67,116,500  $2.58
St. Louis Cardinals (40-45)  35  $ 90,286,823  $2.58
Chicago Cubs (44-43)  45  $ 99,670,332  $2.215
Philadelphia Phillies (44-44)  44  $ 89,428,213  $2.03
Toronto Blue Jays (43-44)  42  $ 81,942,800  $1.95
Washington Nationals (36-52)  20  $ 37,347,500  $1.87
Oakland Athletics (44-44)  44  $ 79,366,940  $1.80
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (34-53)  15  $ 24,123,500  $1.61
Minnesota Twins (45-43)  47  $ 71,439,500  $1.52
Colorado Rockies (44-44)  44  $ 54,424,000  $1.24
Pittsburgh Pirates (40-48)  32  $ 38,537,833  $1.20
Florida Marlins (42-47)
 37  $ 30,507,000  $0.82