What happens after a baseball team makes a deep run into the postseason? Turns out there’s an economic component to that as well as a sporting one — and if you’re a club that makes it all the way to the World Series, the pool of earnings that are set to be paid out are pretty vast. Now, if you’re a player making Ketel Marte levels of money in your base salary, that bonus might not represent that much of a step up. If you’re a team employee or someone further down in the club’s hierarchy, though, getting an extra six figures could go a long way.
And, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports, the Arizona Diamondbacks voted to disburse their postseason winnings in 71 shares, each with a value of $313,634. Rosenthal notes that members of the support staff will get “at least a portion of a postseason share” this year. The pool of postseason winnings that MLB teams had to split up was vast this year — almost $108 million.
The distribution of shares is something that varies dramatically from team to team, and has evolved over time. “My take is guys are a lot more generous with their shares today than they used to be,” Andy Van Slyke, then the coach of the Seattle Mariners, told ESPN in 2014. “Do you think a postseason share is going to change Robinson Cano’s life? No. It will not change his life in any way, shape or manner.”
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The pool of money that teams have to draw on in the postseason has also increased over time. In 2019, playoff teams had a pool of over $88 million to distribute; this year, it was almost $20 million higher. (Both years set new records.) It’s a striking amount of money — especially when it comes to a team’s employees who do their work off the field.