The Dallas Morning News
■ Major League Baseball’s median salary is $1.15 million, down 18% from two years ago.
NEW YORK — 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, according to a study of major league contracts by The Associated Press. 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.
Bellinger has fracture: Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger has a hairline fracture in his left fibula, manager Dave Roberts said.
Roberts said Bellinger had a scan Thursday that showed the hairline fracture. The manager said there is no timetable for his return.
“At least we know what Cody’s dealing with,” Roberts said. “Certain players heal differently, so I just don’t know where Cody is going to be at. … I can say comfortably that it’s not a day-to-day thing, so we can kind of just put it on the back burner and let Cody do his rehab and join us hopefully soon.”
Padres activate Tatis: San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was activated from the 10-day injured list in time for the opener of a highly anticipated series against the defending World Series champion Dodgers.
Tatis had been out since suffering a partially dislocated left shoulder while taking a violent swing on April 6.
While Tatis’ injury startled the Padres and their fans, team officials said doctors assured them the electrifying 22-year-old couldn’t do any further damage to the shoulder if he continued playing this season.
Hall of Fame president quits: Tim Mead is quitting as president of Baseball’s Hall of Fame after two years. The Hall said Friday the move takes effect in mid-may.
Mead was announced as Hall president on April 30, 2019, and took over that June 24 from Jeff Idelson, who had held the job since 2008.
“I made the recent leap with every intention of following in the footsteps of my predecessors, in continuing their efforts in maintaining the Hall of Fame as a critical component of the game,” Mead said in a statement. “Try as I might, even with the unwavering support of my family, these last 22 months have been challenging in maintaining my responsibilities to them.“
Mead, 62, joined the Hall after 40 years with the Angels organization, the last 22 as vice president of communications. He served as assistant general manager from 1994-97.
AROUND THE MAJORS
Atlanta: Pitcher Drew Smyly was placed him on the 10-day injured list because of left forearm inflammation. Manager Brian Snitker said he hopes Smyly (0-0, 5.73 in two starts) will only miss one start.
New York Yankees: Pitcher Michael King, 25, was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate training site. He allowed one hit over six scoreless innings in a 99-pitch relief appearance against Toronto in a 3-1 loss on April 4.