Lets assess this using raw data instead of opinions shall we?
Leaders in the AL
1. Red Sox (#2 in spending at $155 million last year) They have the second highest pay roll in their division.
2. Yankees (#1 in spending at $218) THey have the highest pay roll in all of baseball
1. Detroit (# 12 in spending $98) THey have the second highest pay roll in their division.
2. White Sox (#10 at $100) They have the highest pay roll in their division.
1. Angels (#7 in spending at $111) They have the second highest pay roll in their division
2. Texas (#17 in spending at $78)
1. Phillies (#8 in spending at $101) They have the second highest pay roll in their division.
2. Florida (#29th in spending at $33)
1. Cardinals (#11th in spending at $99) They have the second highest pay roll in their division.
2. Brewers (#16th in spending at $72)
1. Dodgers (#3 in spending at $125) They have the highest pay roll in their division
2. Giants (#9 in spending at $101)
Now breaking it down, only 3 of the top two teams in each division are out of the top 12 teams in pay roll. In fact, if it were not for the Breweres, Marlins, and Rangers, all the top two teams would be in the top 12 clubs in terms of pay roll. The top 12 teams all spent $98 million or more last year in pay roll.
In terms of AL money teams vs. NL money teams, if you look at the top 12 lowest pay roll teams, we see that the NL has 8 of those teams as compared to only 4 AL teams. These are all teams that spent $73 million or less last year on their teams. So the NL has twice as many teams that spend $73 million or less on their teams per year with the Yankees and Red Sox at the top of the heap. So I ask you, is it any wonder that the AL continues to dominate the All Star game? Is it any wonder that both the Yankees and Red Sox continue to dominate the play offs and/or Word Series?
In conclusion, I would aruge that some front offices are better than others no matter their pay roll. For example, if you look at the Cardinals and the Cubs, the Cubs spend $112 per year as where the Cardinals spend $99 per year. Now granted there is not much diffenrence in pay roll and are argueable neck and neck, however, the Caridinals consistantly outperform the Cubs. I would simply say that this is due to the management. The Cardinals consistantly outpreform as where the Cubs consistantly underpreform. Nonetheless, even though the Cubs consistantly underpreform, they are never last in their division. I think the Mets are another example of teams that underpreform consistantly. Even though both the Cubs and Mets underperform, however, both are playing 0.500 ball or better.
For me, the most perplexing are the Florida teams which are the Marlins and Rays. Even though both are at the bottom of the payroll, they consistantly are battling for the top of their divisions. So why is that? Perhaps it is due to location? For example, the best players may choose to play for a lower salary simply because they prefer the nicer whether. Maybe its the same reason that teams like the Florida Gators are always conending for a national championship? Who knows? As for the Yankees, I would say that they consistantly underperform as well. What I think is funny, however, is when they don't win a World Series the fans as well as the media act as though they underperformed. In fact, the Yankees missed the play offs last year for the first time in almost two decades and you would have thought the world was ending. LOL. I would simply argue that it is possible to buy a play off birth for the most part, but not necessarily a World Series. Its just like going to Vegas and gambling. Sure, you may beat the odds for a hand or two, but keep playing day in and day out and the house will win all your money. All you have to do is stick around and keep playing and the odds will catch up to you.
Edit: Is it just me or do the majority of the division leaders have the second highest pay rolls in their division? Maybe there is something to this?
In fact, if it were not for the Dodgers, they would all be like this.