Big-Money MLB Managers Going By The Wayside

The new wave of managers are often making around $1 million annually.

Bruce Levine
November 16, 2018 - 11:35 am
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(670 The Score) The retirement of Angels manager Mike Scioscia after the 2018 season was just the most recent evidence that younger, more analytic-friendly managers are being sought across a changing MLB landscape.

Along with the Cubs' Joe Maddon and the Giants' Bruce Bochy, Scioscia was the highest-paid manager in the league, as all drew $6 million in salary in 2018. Maddon and Bochy will each make $6 million in 2019 in the last year of their long-term deals, but beyond them, the recent trend is for owners cutting back on managerial pay across the board. The new wave of managers are often being signed for around $1 million annually, about about one-sixth the pay rate of Maddon and Bochy.

"The baseball hierarchy looked at the salaries for the top managers and became irate that these guys were moving toward $7 million to $10 million in salary," an agent said. "The whole thing is a joke now. The NFL and NBA pay their coaches much higher amounts per year to coach half the number of games that baseball managers are asked to handle."

In the NBA, it's believed that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pulls in $11 million annually. Locally, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is paid $5 million annually, per reports. He commanded that figure without having coached in the NBA prior to leading the Bulls, though he did play and work in a front office.

In the NFL, Raiders coach signed a 10-year, $100-million deal ahead back in January. 

MLB managers don't get paid on a similar scale in part because the younger managers are lower-profile individuals. Those types -- such as Alex Cora, who just led the Red Sox to a World Series title -- appeal to front offices because they're flexible with their in-game strategical decisions. They're more likely to form continuity with new-age front offices that put great stock into analytics in determining daily lineups and scouting reports that are handed out to players and coaches.

The best old-school manager now take the hints from the analytics department and use that information to instruct what remains their own lineups and in-game decisions.

After Maddon and Bochy, the Indians' Terry Francona is the third-highest paid manager at $4 million annually, according to sources. Astros manager A.J. Hinch is up to $3 million annually, while the Athletics' Bob Melvin will get a raise from the $2.5 million he was making in 2018 after he won his third Manager of the Year award. As of late August, 18 of the 30 MLB managers were making $1.5 million or less annually, according to a USA Today study.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​​