There is a team which spent lavishly on it’s bullpen this year, so lavishly I dub it the Billion Dollar Bullpen. That team is the Dodgers. Here’s the current stats for the Dodger’s Pen.
For 30.9 Million Dollars, this is what you get:
4 Wins 11 Losses 140.1 Innings Pitched 64 Runs Allowed for a 4.56 ERA, with 13 saves.
Now, I didn’t include everyone in the bullpen. My cutoff was 7 innings pitched, so anybody below that didn’t have their salary or stats counted. According to ESPN, including those other relievers lowers the overall ERA to 4.38, so I’ll be generous and use that ERA. Still, in the end, those stats don’t look very good in the abstract. But let’s look at some specifics:
The Dodgers rank 25th in Bullpen ERA. The average bullpen ERA is 3.71. Let’s compare the amount they spent to their division rival San Diego, which has the 2nd best Bullpen ERA at 2.18. Let’s see what they spent. To be fair, I’ll use that 7 inning cutoff here too.
The Padres spent roughly 17 Million Dollars on their bullpen, which gets them this:
7 Wins 3 Losses 135 Innings Pitched 35 Runs allowed and a 2.58 ERA. A higher ERA than the ESPN stats, so I probably messed up somewhere. Still, that is still about 2 runs better than the Dodgers for 13 million dollars less.
Guess money doesn’t buy you a good bullpen.