Padres Rank Atop MLB’s Biggest Bargain Teams From 2010

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Baseball is a game inches, but it?s also a game of dollars and cents. The team that can stretch their dollar the furthest is usually considered a successful franchise.

Bargain baseball is no new term. Billy Beane made it so popular that a best-selling book was written about how he scouts players. The book, Moneyball, is now being turned into a movie.

So, what city owned the best bargain baseball club this year?

Forbes.com has rated the 30 MLB teams based on a cost-efficiency scale and difficulty of schedule.

The San Diego Padres may not have made the playoffs, but they were the most cost-effective team in baseball. They had a payroll of $38 million, good enough for second lowest in MLB, and a 90-72 record. They led their division for a majority of the season and missed the playoffs by just one game.

It is difficult to keep a bargain team together though. The strength of the Padres was their middle relief this year, which featured young guns like Luke Gregorson, Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb and closer Heath Bell. Bell earned $4 million this year while posting 47 saves, while his supporting cast earned barely over $400,000.

Raises and new contracts are just a couple of factors that can kill small market clubs, and San Diego looks like it will face the same daunting challenge this offseason. Strong bullpen arms looking for a raise, combined with Adrian Gonzalez?s uncertain future make it difficult to envision the Padres having a repeat performance.

The Rangers, Rays, A?s, Reds, Blue Jays, Braves, Marlins, Twins and Giants round out the rest of Forbes’ top ten list.

 

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