The Oakland A's Are Getting What They Paid For

The A's have the lowest payroll and baseball and few are showing up to watch them play.
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics are off to a very bad start to the season. On Saturday the Cleveland Guardians handed the A's their third loss of the season and, unsurprisingly, support for the team has already dried up. Only 5,425 tickets were sold for Saturday's game, which was actually an improvement from the announced attendance of 3,837 on Friday night.

The team sold 13,522 tickets for the season-opener — a shutout loss — but many ticket-holders stayed in the parking lot during the game as part of a boycott, protesting the team moving to Las Vegas.

Who can blame the fans? Or, more accurately, the former fans. The A's have been trying to move for years and the transition has been particularly messy as they're playing one final year in the Oakland Coliseum while they search for another temporary home where they can wait for that new stadium in Las Vegas to be constructed for the start of the 2028 season.

At this rate you have to wonder how long it will take for 63,000 people to actually walk through the door for A's home games this season. That's the capacity for Oakland Coliseum and through three games they've seen just a fraction of that.

Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

In this case, the team is getting what they pay for, which isn't much. The A's have the lowest payroll in baseball for the second straight season. Their active roster's total salary right now is just over $43 million. Meanwhile, Jacob deGrom of the Texas Rangers, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and hoping for an August return, will make $40 million this year. Max Scherzer, who just went on the 15-day IL, actually has a higher base salary ($43.3 million) than the entire A's dugout right now.

Worst of all, at 0-3, they're on their way to a third consecutive last-place finish in the AL West. The only good news is that if you want to watch a Major League Baseball game in some great seats for dirt cheap, head to Oakland.

Stephen Douglas is a writer at The Big Lead.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.