Not that they needed any extra motivation to try to reach the postseason in 2012, but if they do, the Washington Nationals need only look at how much money each of this year's playoff qualifiers earned in bonuses.
Major League Baseball released its postseason share information today, and the totals are staggering. The 51 players and other team employees who were awarded full shares by the St. Louis Cardinals each received 323,169.98 as reward for winning the World Series.
That total isn't far removed from what major-league rookies earned this season: the league minimum salary was 414,000.
And it's not only the World Series champs who profited from their October success. The AL champion Texas Rangers doled out 251,515.76 to each of the 47 players and employees who were voted to receive full shares.
The two LCS runners-up -- the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers -- had shares totaling 133,511.33 and 126,901.50, respectively.
The four LDS runners-up -- the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays -- earned shares ranging from 26,238.86 to 30,758.08.
Even the Atlanta Braves, who suffered through one of the worst late-season collapses in big-league history, made some extra dough. Per baseball's rules, all second-place clubs receive postseason shares. So members of the Braves, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians each received about 10,000 in bonus money.
The Nationals? Well, they'll just have to be content with the first third-place finish since the franchise arrived in town and the hope that next year they might be in the conversation to receive some of this extra postseason dough.