MLB salary down 4.8% in 2 years
The average major league salary dropped 4.8% to just under $4.17 million on opening day from the start of the previous full season in 2019. The average has fallen 6.4% since the start of the 2017 season, when it peaked at $4.45 million. The salary downturn is yet another sign baseball could be headed toward labor strife and a possible work stoppage in 2022. Baseball’s middle class has borne the brunt of the drop. The median salary — the point at which an equal number of players are above and below — is $1.15 million, down 18% from $1.4 million two years ago and a drop of 30% from the $1.65 million record high at the start of 2015. Of 902 players on opening-day rosters, 417 (62%) had salaries under $1 million, including 316 (35%) under $600,000. The 50 highest-paid players are getting 33.4% of all salaries, up from 28.6% in 2017, and the 100 highest-paid are receiving 52.4%, an increase from 42.5% in 2017. Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is the highest-paid player in 2021 at $38 million after agreeing to a $102 million, three-year contract he can terminate after one season.