© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
04/08/09 8:29 PM ET
Team payrolls decreased around MLB
Survey based on Opening Day active rosters and DL
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
An Associated Press analysis of Opening Day salaries in Major League Baseball showed that team payrolls decreased by 1.7 percent from 2008 to 2009, with teams spending a total of $47 million less this season than last. According to the AP report, the drop in combined payroll is the first since 2004 and second since the 1994-95 work stoppage. The salary figures are based on teams' active rosters and disabled lists as of Opening Day. "Clubs were cautious all winter with regards to the economy and were concerned the economy might have an impact on club revenue," said Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, told the AP. "The spending reflected that for many clubs."
Figures published by the AP say the Yankees lead the Majors with a $201.4 million payroll, followed by the Mets at $135.7 million, Cubs ($135.1 million), Red Sox ($123 million), Tigers ($115 million), Angels ($113.7 million) and Phillies ($113 million). The lowest spenders are the Marlins ($37 million), Padres ($43 million) and Pirates ($49 million). The AP research showed the 10 highest spenders lowered payroll by an average of $7.8 million. The 10 lowest raised spending by an average of $4.5 million. "We're seeing a continuation of the trend of mid- and small-market teams developing their own talent and keeping their own talent," DuPuy said, "and I think that's reflected in the totals that you see." The AP analysis showed that 16 of the 30 teams decreased their payroll, including the Yankees, who trimmed salaries by $7.6 million from the start of the '08 season. Others cut more, the AP report stated, led by the Padres ($30.9 million), White Sox ($25.1 million), Tigers ($23.6 million) and Mariners ($19.1 million). Among the 14 teams that AP reported increased salaries were the AL champion Rays ($19.5 million), the Cubs ($16.5 million), Marlins ($15.0 million) and World Series champion Phillies ($14.7 million). While overall payroll is down, the average player salary is up 2.7 percent to $3.24 million, which the AP analysis attributes to the fact that 69 players are on the DL to start this season, compared to 106 last year. That means more higher-paid players are active, and fewer lower-paid players are in their place to start the season. While 433 of 818 players on Opening Day rosters and disabled lists make at least $1 million, one fewer than last year's record, 86 were at $10 million or more, one more than last year's mark. The median salary, the point at which equal numbers are above and below, is at a record $1.15 million, rising from $1 million a year ago.
2009 MLB payrolls
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.