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Bill Speros for Bookies.com

By Bill Speros | | 6 mins

Ranking World Series Winners By Best Value For Money Over Last 30 Years

Ranking World Series Winners By Best Value For Money Over Last 30 Years

Which MLB team has been the best money can buy over the last 30 years? Here's a look at the squads that offered the biggest bang for their buck across all World Series winners since 1992.

The Miami Marlins are among the worst-run franchises in baseball. But the top two “Best Teams Money Can Buy” since 1992 have worn Marlins uniforms.

The 2003 and 1997 Florida Marlins delivered the most bang for their buck among World Series champions during the past 30 years, according to a Bookies.com study of baseball payrolls adjusted for inflation from 1992-2021 and total team victories (including the postseason).

In terms of Cost Per Win (CPW) adjusted for inflation, the 2003 Marlins were the best bargain in baseball. Florida finished 91-71 in the regular season and won 12 games in the postseason, including four over the Chicago Cubs in a memorable NLCS.

The adjusted CPW for each of their 103 wins from that year is $751,389.13, or $480,882.35 in 2003 dollars. The highest-paid player on that team was catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who earned $10,000,000 in 2003, or what would equal $15,625,217.39 today.


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Best Value For Money World Series Winners Since 1992

Only four times in the past 30 years has the team with the highest payroll in baseball won the World Series in the same year: The 1993 Blue Jays, the 1999 and ‘09 New York Yankees, and the 2018 Boston Red Sox.

Here is a rundown of the World Series winners since 1992 ranked by their CPW in 2022 dollars. With inflation at a 40-year high, we've calculated the figures that way to add perspective and level the financial playing field across eras.

The teams are listed with their title year, total wins including the postseason, their adjusted and original CPW and payroll (PR), their highest-paid player that season, and that player's 2022 adjusted salary and original salary. Salary figures are rounded off in millions of dollars.

Top Baseball 'Bang For Your Buck' Teams Since 1992

YR TEAM '22 CPW '22 PR WINS CPW PR PLAYER '22 SAL. SAL.
2003 FLA751,389 76,641,691102480,88249,500,000 I. Rodrig.15.62510.00
1997 FLA830,486 85,540,053103463,88247,753,000 A. Fernan.12.5397.00
1995 ATL844,241 85,268,329101447,51545.199,000 G. Maddux12.2626.50
1992 TOR860,346 89,475,970104419,84343,663,666 J. Morris9.2214.50
1993 TOR883,706 91,021,709103444,15245,747,666 J. Carter10.9435.50
1998 NYY891,226 111,403,211125505,27963,159,898 B. Williams14.6408.30
2002 ANA896,722 98,639,389110561,10661,721,667 T. Salmon14.64015.42
1996 NYY928,466 95,631,948103506,69352,189,370 R. Sierra11.3616.20
2012 SFG977,669 102,655,260105780,74481,978,100 B. Zito23.79219.00
2005 CWS1,006,097 110,670,639110683,43675,178,000 P. Konerko12.8818.75
2010 SFG1,252,292 128,986,044103949,79497,828,833 B. Zito24.39218.50
2008 PHI1,274,022 131,224,291103954,07798,269,880 P. Burrell19.02914.25
2015 KCR1,292,136 136,966,4521061,065,231112,914,525 A. Gordon16.67913.75
2011 STL1,334,248 134,759,0841011,043,897105,433,572 M. Holliday20.85616.32
2001 ARI1,344,366 138,469,7211031,137,89285,247,999 R. Johnson21.92813.50
2017 HOU1,334,646 149,480,3811121,137,892127,443,900 J. Verlander32.84128.00
2006 STL1,348,606 126,768,97294945,65388,891,371 A. Pujols19.96614.00
1999 NYY1,395,306 152,088,424109808,53988,130,709 B. Williams17.019.86
2000 NYY1,583,358 155,169,11498948,35092,938,260 B. Williams20.63112.35
2021 ATL1,640,403 162,399,874991,546,065153,060,458 F. Freeman23.34222.00
2016 CHC1,759,483 200,581,0991141,468,808167,444,167 J. Lester29.94725.00
2004 BOS1,777,496 193,747,1041141,167,876127,298,500 M. Ramirez34.24522.50
2013 BOS1,816,570 196,189,5571081,471,919158,967,286 J. Lackey24.62115.95
2007 BOS1,853,482 198,322,6201071,336,693143,026,214 M. Ramirez23.59517.01
2014 SFG1,891,424 187,251,017991,557,433154,185,878 M. Cain25.30120.83
2019 WSH2,112,088 221,769,2061051,878,130197,203,691 S. Strasb.43.10838.33
2020 LAD2,140,743 119,881,625561,927,096107,917,397 C. Kershaw18.11616.30
2018 BOS2,267,276 269,805,8431191,980,247235,649,368 D. Price34.43631.00
2009 NYY2,368,113 269,964,8441141,767,098201,449,189 A-Rod44.22333.00

(NOTE: Payroll and salary figures via Baseball Prospectus and Spotrac. The 2022 figures have been calculated through the March CPI index. CPW (Cost Per Win) and PR (Payroll) figures rounded off to nearest dollar. There was no World Series in 1994 due to the players' strike.)

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Bombers Deliver On Both Ends

The highest adjusted CPW of all teams that have won the World Series since 1992 belongs to the 2009 New York Yankees.

Those Bombers won 119 games including the postseason in claiming their only World Series title of the 21st Century. They have a 2022-adjusted CPW of $2,368,112.65, which was $1,767,098.14 in 2009 dollars. The 2009 Yankees also have the highest inflation-adjusted payroll at $269,964,844 in today's dollars.

That 2009 Yankees roster included Alex Rodriguez. His 2009 salary of $33 million would equal $44,223,756.28 today.

The 2003 Marlins beat the Yankees in the World Series. The Yankees payroll that season was $152,749,814, or more than triple the Marlins total roster cost of $49,050,000.

The 2018 Boston Red Sox have the highest overall payroll of any team on this list in today's dollars. The Red Sox spent $235,649,368 in 2018, but it was well worth it. Boston won a franchise-record 108 games in the regular season before beating the Yankees and Astros in the AL playoffs. The Red Sox ousted the Dodgers in five games to win the World Series. Their 2018 payroll equates to $269,805,843 in 2022 dollars.

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.