There's a few interesting facts in this Wall Street Journal article, especially if you're a fan of a team who barely increased their payroll like the Padres or of a team who's budget was cut. Conventional wisdom seems to indicate that a team can improve their chances of success by outspending their competitors, the facts say that's not the case.
Since 2004, of the 33 teams to increase their payroll by at least 30%, only five made the playoffs. in that same time frame, of the 110 teams that increased by at least 10%, just 31 made the playoffs, barely more than the number of playoff teams that cut their payroll over that span (28).
The Dodgers increased their payroll 132% and are in the process of making themselves at home in the NL West cellar after last night's crushing defeat.
NL West Standings
The moral of this story is paying butt loads of money to players rarely pays off in terms of making the playoffs. It takes a smart team to compete and smart teams usually don't increase their payroll 30% in a year.