Salary Data Released

The MLBPA has issued its annual report on players’ salaries. Highlights:

The average salary in Major League Baseball this season was $2.93 million, the players’ association said Thursday in its annual report. The 3.6 percent increase was the smallest since 2004, when the average declined 2.5 percent from the previous season.

Don’t you hate it when things are phrased that way? “The smallest since . . .” and then the year range is, like, two years?

The average salary had been $3.15 million on opening day, according to the commissioner’s office, but the figure always declines during the season as higher-paid veterans are released and replaced by lower-paid young players.

That’s something I never think about. There are always 500 stories in the papers about average salaries in April, but none at the end of the season, so we’re usually being misled.

The New York Yankees topped the major leagues in average salary for the 10th consecutive season despite a disappointing year in which their streak of postseason appearances ended at 13. The Yankees’ average of $6.86 million was down from a record $7.47 million last year.

That’s some pretty sharp editorialzing for an otherwise straightforward news report. Must have been written by a Rays’ fan.

The Chicago Cubs were second at $4.68 million, followed by the Los Angeles Angels ($4.56 million), the Chicago White Sox ($4.5 million), the Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.37 million), Boston ($4.2 million) and Detroit ($4.15 million).

Which of these teams is not like the others in terms of bang for-its-buck?

The commissioner’s office will not determine its final figure for several weeks. Major League Baseball’s numbers usually differ slightly than those of the players’ association because of different methods of calculation.

This is not technically true. Yes, the Commissioner’s Office comes up with different numbers, but it’s not because of methodology. It’s because Bud Selig goes in and writes the suffix “-gajillion” at the end of every figure. And just because it’s in crayon doesn’t mean it’s any less official. He’s the Commissioner.

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  1. Sam said...

    Does it really matter that veterans are released since their contracts are almost always guaranteed?  The end of year number seems more misleading to me.

  2. bigcatasroma said...

    My BIGGEST pet peeve in all of sports is

      “when things are phrased that way?
      “The smallest since . . .” and then
      the year range is, like, two years?”

    I can’t STAND it!  The worst is in football.  You know, when a team is, like THIRD out of ALL THE TEAMS in the NFC EAST . . . THERE ARE FOUR FREAKIN’ TEAMS!!!  When Mike Greenberg said this morning that the GIANTS ARE GOING TO CLINCH *REALLY* EARLY.  Like, WITH TWO ENTIRE GAMES LEFT IN THE SEASON . . . HOW THE HELL IS THAT EARLY????

    That type of talk REALLY irritates me.  And as time goes on, it becomes more prevelent elsewhere, and a perfect example is in the political arena.  Remember when “Bill Clinton became THE FIRST DEMOCRAT TO BE RE-ELECTED SINCE FDR!!!”??? Well, how stupid is a stat like that?  First of all, elections are only every 4 years.  Second of all, there were only FOUR presidents between FDR and Willy.  Third of all, TWO SUCCEEDED DEAD PRESIDENTS, ONE WAS SHOT, and the fourth, well . . . Get my drift???

    IRRITATING (full disclosure: I’m also irritated from impending law school exams; but comments like that, “Football team hasn’t lost a home game since 2006—meaning, like in 9 games, woopty-freakin-doo, makes my already boiling blood spill over) . . .

  3. tadthebad said...

    Soooo, we should only allow the superstars to max out their earning potential and let the average players suffer?  Yeah, that sounds fair.  You want to pay ARod $30 million/year?  No problem.  But Tim Wakefield, remove your hands from that $4 million at once!  Afterall, Tim, you’re the reason MLB is going down the crapper.  Huh?

  4. Matt said...

    To me, the problem with MLB salaries doesn’t involve high paid players like A-Rod and Johan Santana.  The real problem exists in the low-level players who are making $3 Million.  Thats whats killing baseball.  So basically, guys like Scott Schoenweis can suck, and still pull in more money than I can ever dream of making.  I’m hoping to see a steep decline in average salaries over the next few years.  That would work better for baseball. 

    Thats just my two cents
    -Matt Ryan

  5. Matt Ryan said...

    As far as I’m concerned, the problem with baseball salaries does not come down to the mega contracts of players such as A-Rod and Johan Santana.  Instead, it exists with the mediocre players.  How can a guy like Scott Schoenweis suck, and still pull in more money than I can ever imagine.  Theres no reason for guys like that to make $3 Million. 

    As long as these inflated contracts exist, they will continue to drive up the prices of the big name players.  Thats just my two cents.


  6. Rally said...

    “Remember when “Bill Clinton became THE FIRST DEMOCRAT TO BE RE-ELECTED SINCE FDR!!!”??? Well, how stupid is a stat like that?”

    How does Truman not count?  Oh right.  The paper told us Dewey beat Truman.

  7. Pete Toms said...

    Stop complaining about player compensation.  Revenues have been outpacing salaries.  NFL players get a bigger piece of league revenues than MLB players ( ok, they don’t have guaranteed contracts .  Just read this week that ticket prices to pro sports ( or the cost of attending games, however it was construed ) have increased 38% since 01.  The money comes from somewhere folks.  And if you think it would cost less to attend a game if the players were paid less, you’re a rube.

  8. Matt Ryan said...

    Thats not my point.  Tim Wakefield deserves his $4 Million, but the market is getting out of control.  I’m not saying its the players fault, but in my opinion GMs are irresponsibly spending on low level players.  For example, Geoff Jenkins ($13 Million/2Y), Marlon Anderson ($2.2 Million/Y), Kenny Rogers($8 Million/Y).  Its killing the free agent market.  If a career pinch hitter like Marlon Anderson gets 2.2 Million, then what is an all-star caliber Outfielder worth.  Apparently about $100 Million (Torii Hunter).

  9. Matt Ryan said...

    I’m not complaining about player compensation, and like I said I believe the big name players deserve everything they get.  But my problem is that EVERYBODY is making big money.  The market is just getting out of control.  It may not be serious problem right now, but in a bad economy is this stuff continues we could have a problem


  10. Dr Paisley said...

    Don’t you hate it when things are phrased that way? “The smallest since . . .” and then the year range is, like, two years?

    Especially when the year range is, like, four years?

    But the real point is that the average is not relevant, the median salary is what matters.

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