Usually, when a highly paid player struggles, we see stats like "Carlos Silva was paid $2 million dollars for every quality start he made in 2010" get thrown around. It's mean-spirited, often distorted, and sometimes inaccurate, but hey, that's the internet, right?
However, you can play the same game with bench players who never appear in games. Take, for instance, our beloved Mitch Maier. Maier has faithfully traveled with the team all season, listened to Ned Yost's boring stories, laughed at Jeff Francis's jokes, cashed per diem checks and stayed at very nice hotels. And once a week, he plays two innings or so.
So let's break it down:
- Maier's salary for 2011 is $459,000. Baseball players get paid during the season only, so in addition to being very well paid anyway, their checks are that much more inflated.
- Doing the math, if we say that 14.8% of the season has been played, Maier has/or will be paid shortly, something around $68,000 dollars this season. It might be slightly more than that, depending on the team paycheck schedule, but for our purposes let's go with it. (And yes, I find this to be an astounding total, even though Maier is barely making more than the minimum.)
So, using that figure, we could say, roughly, that Maier has been paid $11,333 per plate appearance in 2011. Or maybe he's valued for his defense? Well, dude has played in 13 innings afield, which comes out to $5,230 per inning. Or maybe he's paid in hits? He has one, so the math is easy, $68,000 per hit.
2011 might be Mitch's last season with the Royals, so I hope he is enjoying himself. Or making a list of enemies. Or keeping a really really good travel diary. Something.