Rays get top mark in list of smart spending

The Tampa Bay Rays are still hoping to make a run at the American League East title. For now, they can content themselves with leading a different set of standings.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s second annual list of smartest spenders in sports ranks the Rays No.1 out of 122 pro franchises in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL. The list is the handiwork of Businessweek reporter Ira Boudway, who used regular-season and postseason records and available payroll data to calculate the amount a given team spent per win over the past five seasons. In the case of baseball, he included first-half performances by the teams in 2012.

According to Businessweek, “Every team was then compared against league average to see how well they turn wages into wins, producing a total score called the ‘efficiency index.’ The lower the index the better.”

Here’s what the magazine, which hits newsstands Friday, found: No. 1, the Rays; 2, the Texas Rangers; 3, the Detroit Red Wings; 4, the Los Angeles Lakers; 5, the Boston Celtics; 6, the Pittsburgh Penguins; 7, the New England Patriots; 8, the Green Bay Packers; 9, the New York Giants; 10, the Boston Bruins.

Among he least efficient teams: 119, the New York Islanders; 120, the New York Mets; 121, the Minnesota Timberwolves; and 122, the St. Louis Rams.