MLB Returns With a Record $4.4M Average Salary Per Player


MLB Returns With a Record $4.4M Average Salary Per Player

By Burt Carey

The boys of summer have returned to major league ballparks throughout North America to begin the 2016 campaign toward a World Series championship, and the players’ contracts have never been bigger.

World Series championship, MLB, the payroll list, team salariesContract terms of MLB players on opening day indicate that the average salary per player is a record $4.4 million, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2015 salaries. Those figures are based on research conducted by the Associated Press and USA Today.

The World Champion Kansas City Royals enter the year with a middle-of-the-pack team salary of $131.5 million. But it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers who, for the third consecutive year, outpace spending by all other clubs even after cutting its payroll by more than $36 million. This year the Dodgers will spend $233.9 million.

Next on the payroll list is the New York Yankees ($225 million), Detroit Tigers ($196 million), Boston Red Sox ($190 million) and San Francisco Giants ($173 million). The smallest team payroll belongs to the Tampa Bay Rays ($57 million).

There were 864 MLB players on opening day, including those on disabled and restricted lists. The average salary computes to $4,381,980, according to the AP. In 2015 MLB reports the average salary over the entire season was $3,386,212; the MLB Players Association said the average was closer to $3.95 million. Average MLB salaries typically drop during the season as veterans are released or retire and young players move up from farm teams, usually at the major league minimum. The minimum salary allowed this year is $507,500, unchanged from 2015.

Does a big payroll guarantee success? Not if 2015 is an indication. The Dodgers, Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox opened 2015 with the four highest payrolls but won just two playoff games. The Tigers and Red Sox finished the season in last place in their respective divisions.

A record 127 players will make more than $10 million this year. Leading them for a second straight year is Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The three-time Cy Young Award winner will pocket a cool $33 million this year.

Four of the highest six paid baseball players are pitchers. They include: Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke ($31.79 million); lefty David Price of the Red Sox ($30 million); and Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander ($28 million). The highest paid position players are Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera ($28 million) and New York Mets centerfielder Yoenis Cespedes ($27.32 million).

Some interesting payroll notes for 2016:

  • Nine Boston players will make at least $10 million this year
  • The Chicago Cubs added $51 million to its payroll
  • Houston bumped its payroll by $26 million after beginning 2015 with the league’s lowest payroll
  • Some teams cut spending, including Philadelphia ($43 million), Milwaukee ($40 million), and Cincinnati ($27 million)
  • Kansas City’s roster has just two players not making at least $1 million

Source:  Baret News



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