ESPN’s site reported yesterday that the average MLB annual salary rose to 2,699,292 in 2006, an increase of 9% over the 2005 season.
The report charts the steep and dramatic rise in Baseball salaries from 1967 through this past season, particularly the growth attributeable to Free Agency.
The ESPN AP report states that the 2006 average salary figure was;
…according to final figures released Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association. The increase was the highest since a 12.8 percent rise in 2001 and makes it likely the $3 million mark will be broken next year or in 2008.
“The increase in the average salary is a reflection of the growth in overall industry revenues, and that while the sport still has significant economic challenges, the increased average is a reflection of the level of the talent on the field,” said Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer.
The AL champion Detroit Tigers were ninth at $3.06 million, up from 15th.
Florida’s average of $594,722 was the lowest in the major leagues since 1999, when Kansas City was at $534,460, the Marlins at $561,111 and Montreal at $572,290.
Among the teams with the 10 highest averages, only San Francisco ($3.8 million) had a losing record (76-85). Among clubs with the 12 lowest averages, the only one with a winning record was Toronto (87-75).
Third basemen had the highest average among positions ($5.87 million), followed by first basemen ($5.78 million), designated hitters ($5.59 million), outfielders ($4.88 million), starting pitchers ($4.87 million), shortstops ($4.06 million), second basemen ($2.79 million) and relievers ($1.43 million).
Figures were based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists and do not account for money owed to released players or payments teams make or receive to cover parts of salaries of players who have been traded.