What’s a World Series win worth? For fans, it’s priceless. For the players and others who share in the proceeds, however, the numbers are clear.
Every year, a pool of postseason cash is derived according to a formula agreed to in advance between Major League Baseball and the players. The pool is then split between the 10 teams that make it to October. The further a team goes, the greater their share of the pool.
This year’s postseason pool was formed from 50% of the gate receipts from the Wild Card games, plus 60% of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series, the first four games of the League Championship Series, and the first four games of the World Series. That came to a record-high $88 million this season.
By limiting the pool to the first few games of each series, baseball eliminates the possibility teams would be tempted to draw a series out longer for financial benefit.
How the Pool is Divided
The Red Sox get the biggest share of that, a total of $31.7 million. The Dodgers, who finished 2018 as National League champions get the next biggest slice, a total of $21.2 million. The rest is divvied up as follows:
- The runners-up in the League Championship Series (the Astros and the Brewers) received $10.5 million each.
- The four runners-up in the Division Series (the Braves, Indians, Rockies, and Yankees) received $2.8 million each.
- The two runners-up for the Wild Card game (the Cubs and the Athletics) get $1.3 million each.
Each team that receives a portion of the pool votes internally to decide how to split it up, dividing the total into equal sized shares. Full shares are typically awarded to all 25 players on the Opening Day roster, the manager, and regular coaching staff. Partial shares are often awarded to other contributors with what’s left over, typically much smaller amounts, awarded like bonus checks to lower-level staff. Naturally, the more shares the players elect to offer, the less value each share has.
The 2018 Red Sox players settled on issuing 66 full shares, compared to 58 shares dispensed in 2013. Each of the 2018 shares was worth $416,837.72. The club also awarded 10.025 partial shares and eight cash awards.