Many Orioles fans believe the team doesn’t want to spend money to improve. That is incorrect.

The Orioles began the season ranked 16th of the 30 major league teams with a payroll of $89 million. That was an increase of nine percent over 2012’s payroll and during the season the team added substantial salaries.

By the time the season ended the Orioles’ payroll was north of $103 million according to Baseballreference.com.

The Orioles added Scott Feldman ($6.75 million) halfway through the season Bud Norris ($3 million) with two months left and Michael Morse ($6.75 million) with a month to go. They also traded for Francisco Rodriguez right after the All-Star break. K-Rod signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee in April and his salary wasn’t disclosed though it was probably in the $3-4 million range.

The Orioles payroll was larger than Atlanta’s ($96.7 million) and about the same as Cincinnati’s ($104.8 million).

Baltimore is the fifth smallest market in the major leagues. Only San Diego Kansas City Cincinnati and Milwaukee are smaller.

Because of the Nationals’ move to Washington the Orioles don’t draw nearly as well as they did before 2005. The two teams combined for more than 5 million paid admissions this season showing there’s a great appetite for baseball in the region.

Three of the final four teams in the postseason (Dodgers Red Sox and Tigers) are among the six highest spenders. The Orioles aren’t able to compete financially there but the Cardinals’ payroll of $116.4 million is still in the relative neighborhood.