Here's a look at annual payroll and regular season wins in Major League Baseball between 2007 and 2015, courtesy of MLB.com and the USA Today payroll database.
There's not much of a clear pattern here at all, in either case. If there really were an upward sloping causal relationship between wins and payroll, you'd also expect to see it here within a team's history over time. But check out the LA Dodgers, whose owner experienced a messy, costly divorce, filed for bankruptcy, and finally sold the team before the 2012 season:
This is seriously fun stuff, because the natural experiment here, namely the essentially forced sale of the Dodgers to cover the enormous costs of a shattered marriage, revealed what looks like a pretty clear upward-sloping relationship between payroll and wins. Even 2015, which was a reduction in both, fits the pattern.