February 28, 2021

Dead Money on 2020 MLB Team Payrolls (FanGraphs)


Yesterday I took a look at team payrolls, offseason spending, and the outlook for MLB spending on players as a whole compared to the last few years. Today we’ll take a look at one portion of team payrolls most teams would rather avoid. No organization wants to be paying players to play for other teams or to sit in the minors or to simply be out of the game, at least in the abstract. At some point though, teams will kick in money for a trade because the overall savings can be utilized elsewhere, the prospect return is slightly better, or because there is better use of a roster spot. Those payments become dead money.

As in past years, I’ve defined dead money as generally any money a team is paying out to a player who no longer appears on their 40-man roster. There are three types of dead money:

  1. Money paid to players who have been released. Those players are free to sign with other teams, but the team releasing the player still owes the money remaining on the contract.
  2. Money paid to other teams as compensation for players who have been traded. Generally, we see teams cover a portion of a contract to receive a better return in trade.
  3. Money paid to players who are…

Read “Dead Money on 2020 MLB Team Payrolls” at FanGraphs