Suzanne Somers died earlier this week. She played the role of the “dumb blonde” on television; but in reality, she was sharp as a tack. In addition to acting, she was an author and entrepreneur. I wonder if – – ten years from now – – she will be most remembered for her role on the TV sit-com, Three’s Company or for her thigh master commercials.
Rest in peace, Suzanne Somers.
A couple of days ago, I got an email from the “reader in Houston”; naturally, I assumed that I had misstated a stat in a recent rant or possibly had ignored a historical comparison. When I opened it however, it was a gentle reminder that I had not yet done my “annual MLB Spotrac Injury List Summary.” So, here we go …
When MLB players sign their contracts, those deals are guaranteed in the event of injury; that means when a player goes on the Injured List (IL) he still gets paid as if he were out on the field day after day. Over the course of a season lots of players show up in the IL for varying lengths of time and MLB owners continue to shell out despite the unavailability of the players. Spotrac.com tracks players that go on and off the IL and by going over their list, you can find some interesting facts. Start with the ”Big Picture”; in 2023:
- At some point in the season 678 different players were on IL. That is an average of 22.3 players on IL per team.
- Those 678 players spent a total of 45,033 days on IL. So, the average player on IL spent 66.4 days there.
- Of the 678 players to show up on IL, 141 players went on IL and came back only to be placed on IL a second time in 2023.
- Of the 678 players to show up on IL,17 players were on IL three different times.
- Of the 678 players to show up on IL, 1 player (Brandon Crawford) appeared on the list four different times.
- The total salary paid out to players on IL during the 2023 season was $965,686,146. Therefore, the average player on IL earned $1.42M while on the IL.
The player who collected the most salary while on IL this year was Stephen Strasburg (Nats). He was on the list for the entire season (186 days) and collected $34,999,992.
Nineteen players were paid $10M or more while they spent time on the IL this year.
The player who collected the least salary while on IL this year was Dallas Keuchel (Twins). He was on the list for 1 day and collected $3,871.
- [Aside: Three players are on Spotrac’s list for spending time on the IL but according to the database, they did not collect any salary while there. I do not know why that is the case but that is the entry in the database.]
Twenty-three players were paid $40K or less while they spent time on the IL this year.
- [Aside: Many people are concerned with income inequality in society these days; MLB salaries have a huge amount of income inequality as some data here show.]
One player, Max Stassi (Angels) was on the IL for 201 days which is longer than the MLB regular season, I suppose he was injured in the offseason and put on the list before the season started.
Forty-five players spent 186 days (the entire length of the MLB season) on the IL. One player, Frankie Montas (Yankees) was on the IL for 185 days. He was there on 3/30/2023 when the season began and came off the list on 9/30/23 – – the day before the season ended.
Looking at team stats relative to the IL:
- The Angels put 35 different players on IL at some point in the season – – most in MLB.
- The Astros put only 13 players on IL at some point in the season – – least in MLB.
- The Yankees paid the most money to players on the IL. The Yankees had 28 players on IL at some point and paid those players $82,093,459.
- The Guardians paid the least money to players on the IL. The Guardians had 15 players on IL at some point and paid those players $9,479,905.
- The Dodgers lost the most service time by players on the IL. The Dodgers had 29 players on IL at some point and lost a total of 2,470 days of playing time – – most in MLB.
- The Guardians lost the least service time by players on the IL. The Guardians had 15 players on IL at some point and lost a total of 703 days of playing time – – least in MLB.
So, if you enjoyed this plunge into MLB injury and financial data, thank the “reader in Houston”. If you did not enjoy it, be thankful you can simply hit the delete button and move on with your life. It’s all good …
Finally, I’ll close today with this definition provided by humorist, S. J. Perelman:
“A farm is an irregular patch of nettles bounded by short-term notes, containing a fool and his wife who didn’t know enough to stay in the city.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………