By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK — The average baseball salary fell just short of $3
million this year, with the percentage increase slowing to its
lowest level since 2004.
The 926 players in the major leagues before rosters expanded in
September averaged $2,996,000, according to the annual report of
the players’ association, which was obtained Monday by The
That is up just 2.4 percent from last year’s average of $2.93
million. The increase had not been that small since a 2.5
percent drop in 2004.
The World Series champion Yankees had by far the highest average
at $7.66 million, topping the major leagues for the 11th
Six teams among the top eight by average salary made the
postseason, joined by Colorado (15th at $2.93 million) and
Minnesota (17th at $2.66 million). The Rockies and Twins were
both eliminated in the first round.
The Chicago Cubs remained second overall at $4.63 million
despite finishing second in the NL Central and missing the
Boston moved from sixth to third at $4.58 million. Detroit,
which missed the playoffs, went up from seventh to fourth at
$4.43 million, followed by St. Louis, ($4.42 million), the Los
Angeles Dodgers ($4.33 million), the Los Angeles Angels ($4.22
million), NL champion Philadelphia ($4.06 million) and the New
York Mets ($3.76 million), who were deciminated by injuries and
plummeted to a 70-92 record, their worst in six years.
Pittsburgh was last at $790,000, the lowest average in the major
leagues since 2006. San Diego, at $959,000, was the only other
team whose players averaged less than $1 million.
Among regulars at positions, first basemen took over with the
highest average at $7.39 million, passing designated hitters
($7.34 million). Third basemen were next at $6.46 million,
followed by starting pitchers ($4.66 million), outfielders
($4.58 million), shortstops ($4.44 million), second basemen
($4.32 million), catchers ($4.07 million) and relief pitchers
The commissioner’s office will not determine its final figures
for a few weeks. Management’s numbers usually differ slightly
because of different methods of calculation.
Management’s opening-day average was $3.23 million, but the
average usually drops during the season as veterans are released
and replaced by younger players with lower salaries.