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Dodgers Lead MLB in Payroll...

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...spent on players on the disabled list over the last eight seasons.

Jeff Zimmerman of Beyond the Box Score used the wonderful injury database from Josh Hermsmeyer of Rotoblog.com do look at salaries lost due to time on the disabled list.  Earlier in the week, Zimmerman looked at individual players with the most salary paid for DL time from 2002 to 2009, and not surprisingly found Jason Schmidt near the top.  His $47 million lost over the past eight seasons is second only to Mike Hampton.  Other Dodgers to make the unfortunate top (or bottom) 100 list include Eric Gagne (19th), Rafael Furcal (46th).

Today, Zimmerman took his research a few steps further, and found the salaries paid to disabled players for all 30 major league teams over the last eight seasons.  The Dodgers "led" in both total salary paid to players on the DL (about $214 million) and percentage of total payroll lost to DL time (27%).

I decided to take a look back at 2009 myself just to see how the Dodgers fared specifically.  I used the transaction dates from the Dodgers media guide, because while the MLB.com online transaction history is cool it isn't always updated to include the official dates (maybe off by a day or two here and there).  The season runs 183 days long, which last season began on Sunday, April 5 and ended on October 4.  Player salaries are pro-rated by the day, as you may have noticed if you've glanced at our payroll worksheet

In 2009, the Dodgers had 14 players make 18 different trips to the disabled list, missing a total of 1,105 days.  Here's a breakdown of last season's Dodger hurt locker:

Player 2009 Salary DL Date Days on DL Salary Lost
Delwyn Young $406,000 March 27* 9 $20,077
Claudio Vargas $400,000 March 27* 89 $195,604
Jason Schmidt $16,000,000 March 30* 106 $9,318,681
Hiroki Kuroda $10,000,000 April 7 55 $3,021,978
Cory Wade $402,500 April 12 18 $39,808
Doug Mientkiewicz $550,000 April 17 138 $417,033
Hong-Chih Kuo $437,000 April 30 88 $211,297
Xavier Paul $400,000 May 21 137 $301,099
Will Ohman $1,350,000 May 28 129 $956,868
Eric Stults $402,000 May 31 31 $68,473
Eric Milton $650,000 June 6 21 $75,000
Eric Milton $650,000 June 28 99 $353,571
Ronald Belisario $400,000 July 6 33 $72,527
Cory Wade $402,500 July 12 21 $46,442
Jason Schmidt $16,000,000 August 6 60 $5,274,725
Hiroki Kuroda $10,000,000 August 16 21 $1,153,846
Guillermo Mota $2,350,000 August 30 15 $193,681
Travis Schlichting $400,000 August 31 35 $76,923
Totals             14 players, 18 DL trips
1,105 $21,797,635
Percent of Total Payroll 19.8%
*DL days started on April 5

That's a ton of salary paid to disabled players, but two-thirds of it was paid to Schmidt, who was active for only 17 of the 183 days.  Knock on wood, but now that the payroll is no longer about Schmidt, I expect an decrease in salaries paid to disabled Dodgers in 2010.