Why did salaries increase so slowly last year?

As noted by others, Major League Baseball issued a press release today, announcing that salaries only increased 3.6% last year. But here’s the thing to keep in mind: there was a major shift toward young players last year. In fact, as I wrote in the THT Annual, it was the biggest downward change in major league history.

Why is that important? Because most players under 28 years of age haven’t hit their free agent years yet, so they’re more affordable. Think of the NL Cy Young winner (Lincecum) or the AL MVP (Pedroia). Baseball got young last year, and young players are cheap. Fiscal discipline had nothing to do with it.

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