Forbes Graph Makes You All Kinds of Sad About the Way Phillies Spend Their Money

image from

From two years ago

For the second year in a row, the Phillies were Forbes' fifth most valuable team in Major League Baseball (6th in 2011), with a valuation of $893 million, or, about six Cole Hamels. That’s up from $723 million last year. 

Forbes estimates the Phillies churned a small profit – about $600k in 2012 – after a loss of about $11.5 million in 2011. The increase is easily explainable: Forbes estimates the Phillies made an additional $30 million in revenue in 2012. Also, player salaries rose from about $150 million in 2010 to $180 million in 2011, but only another $4 million in 2012. 

Valuations are up all over the league thanks in part to coming increases in national TV dollars. The Phillies can also expect a massive increase in local TV money when their contract with CSN expires in 2015. 

What’s interesting about the Forbes valuation – if not unsurprising – to me, though, is this:


That’s basically wins per player payroll relative to the rest of the league. A score of 100 would be average.

Here’s how Forbes describes it: Compares the number of wins per player payroll relative to the rest of the MLB. Playoff wins count twice as much as regular season wins. A score of 120 means that the team achieved 20% more victories per dollar of payroll compared with the league average during the 2011-12 season.

The highlighted column represents 2009* (108), the year Ruben Amaro took over as GM, with 2010-2013 following from right to left, in order: 95, 86, 75, and 59.

*These figures represent the previous season, i.e. the 108 in 2009 is based on the World Fucking Championship in 2008.

While teams with larger payrolls, like the Phillies, will likely always be under the league average of wins per player payroll, and while a score of 59 is in-line with Yankees and Red Sox figures, the Phillies’ consistent decline is notable. They’ve gotten less value out of every dollar spent each year since Amaro took over as GM. It’s essentially the anti-Moneyball. Take a look at the A’s…

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… and Nationals….

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… and even the Angels…

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We all know the Phillies are spending more and not necessarily seeing more (postseason) success (though two consecutive seasons, 2010 and 2011, with the most regular season wins in baseball isn’t necessarily failure), but the sharp decline in player value – going from a team that won a World Series with a payroll more valuable than the league average to a team that missed the playoffs with one of the highest payrolls in the league – is troubling. This you knew– Forbes just put it into graph form.


5 Responses

  1. Doesn’t it just mean we need to sign more players befor e they erupt and want their “paydays”?
    Basically it means we started losing in this category as soon as we gave our home grown talent their “paydays” right?

  2. Listen, none of these stupid figures are a surprise to anyone in Philly. We knew this shit was coming from a mile away, and have been talking about this for years. The disappointing part of this phillies team is the lack of postseason success after ’08. If they would have put together a fucking championship run of like 3 out of 5 years, this downturn wouldn’t have been as tough to take

  3. Phillies are the only team in MLB without an Analytics Department. They are a shit organization that lucked into a championship b/c one player personnel guy (who has since left when they promoted Rube to GM) hit on 3 players while he was here – Utley, Howard, Hamels. They are behind the times with their player evaluations, their international scouts suck so they’re never even mentioned when guys like Cespedes & Darvish are up for bid, their manager doesn’t think a few innings ahead, and the list goes on. The ownership sucks here, the front office sucks, and the scouting department sucks. They’ll go back to being the same old Phillies soon enough (if they haven’t already).

  4. i have to agree with a lot of what deter said, especially his comments about the manager and his ineptness. additionally, if there is one thing i could add to that laundry list of reasons for the phillies shortcomings of the last few years, i would have say that this team has lacked a true leader. if this team had a true leader the last few seasons, they wouldnt have fallen so short in 2010 (giants) and 2011 (cards.) maybe im wrong, but it doesnt seem like they have had a guy in the clubhouse who would stand up after early playoff exits and say this unacceptable. then again, maybe that is merely a trickle down effect of the manager’s complacency.

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