MLB average salary up 5.4 percent to $3.39 million
While the New York Yankees set another salary record, the
Houston Astros had the lowest average in the major leagues in 14
years and the attention of the players’ union.
The overall big league average rose 5.4 percent this season to a
record $3.39 million, according to the annual report released
Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association. The
increase was the steepest since 2006.
In the economy at large, civilian compensation is increasing at
an annual rate of 1.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics. The average U.S. wage in 2012 was $42,498,
according to the Social Security Administration.
The Yankees had the highest average for the 15th consecutive
season at $8.17 million, breaking the mark of $7.66 million when
they won the World Series in 2009. The Los Angeles Dodgers were
second at $7.82 million.
Houston’s average of $549,603 was the smallest since the 1999
Kansas City Royals at $534,460. The Miami Marlins were 29th at
$830,069, down from $3.77 million in 2012, when they ranked
Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement requires a team to
use revenue-sharing money it receives ”in an effort to improve its
performance on the field.” The Marlins had been required to raise
player payroll annually from 2010-12 under an agreement between MLB
and the union.
However, the issue is being dealt with under a provision in the
collective bargaining agreement that gradually eliminates the 15
teams in the largest markets from receiving revenue sharing, and
the Astros are 15th. Under that provision, those clubs forfeited 25
percent of the money this year, half in 2014, 75 percent the
following year and all in 2016.
”We are watching both clubs closely, but were already aware
what their 2013 spending would be and that there wasn’t enough
there to move beyond acknowledging as much,” new union head Tony
Clark said in an email to The Associated Press. ”With Houston a
big factor is their impending `market disqualification.’ For Miami,
they actually have a long-range plan that suggests they will make
the considerations necessary to be compliant.
”That said, both clubs are being monitored, and MLB recognizes
that there is a potential for a dispute if the clubs do not move in
the right direction.”
World Series champion Boston was fourth at $5.46 million, just
behind Detroit at $5.53 million. St. Louis, which won the NL
pennant, was 10th at $3.75 million.
Tampa Bay had the lowest ranking among the 10 playoff teams and
was 24th at $2.13 million.
Among regulars at positions, designated hitters took over from
first basemen for the highest average at $10.5 million. First
basemen were next at $6.5 million, followed by starting pitchers at
$6.3 million, second basemen at $5.8 million, outfielders at $5.6
million, third basemen at $5.2 million, shortstops at $4.5 million,
catchers at $4.4 million and relief pitchers at $2.2 million,
Figures are based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists, with
940 players averaging $3,386,212. Major League Baseball, which uses
slightly different methods, calculated its average at $3,320,089,
an increase of 6.9 percent.