From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, back in 2003:
This information, plus another computer analysis that showed no one player’s salary had exceeded 15 percent of a team’s payroll on any World Series champion club since 1985, overrode the Tribe’s emotional instinct to pay Thome the guaranteed salary he wanted for six years to allow him to finish his career in Cleveland.
From the New York Times, back in 2004:
”If you get one player making much over 10 percent of your payroll, you’re asking for trouble,” said a general manager who has made a study of the effect of unusually large salaries on club payrolls. ”When payrolls get high, 90 or 100 million dollars, it compounds that. A guy making 20 or 30 percent of it makes it worse.”
From the Chicago Tribune, last month:
Assuming that the prospective ownership groups were briefed on the Zambrano signing, it would seem to indicate that they foresee future payroll of $120 million or more. His deal to believed to average a little over $18 million a year (the level that Alfonso Soriano’s contract escalates to in 2010 and beyond). That would represent 15 percent of a $120 million payroll, and history has proven it’s almost impossible to get to the World Series when one player is taking up such a large percentage.
This is probably why Brian Cashman is willing to let A-Rod walk away after this season…if New York cannot use that money from Texas to drive down what percentage Alex’s salary would be…compared to the whole team.