12/05/11 4:18 PM EST
Average salary for Major Leaguers on the rise
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
According to the Major League Baseball Players Assocation's annual report, the 913 players on club rosters and disabled lists on Aug. 31 made an average of $3,095,183.
A year ago, that number was $3,014,572, and it will likely rise again in 2012 as the minimum salary climbs from $414,000 to $480,000 as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Yankees led the way for the 13th straight season with an average salary of $6.54 million, although that was down for the second year in a row -- their players averaged $7.66 million in 2009.
The Phillies finished just behind the Yankees with an average salary of $6.44 million, followed immediately by the Red Sox ($5.21 million) -- the same top three as 2010. The Angels jumped from 13th in 2010 ($3.38 million) to fourth this year at $4.58 million.
The World Series-champion Cardinals had the fifth-highest average salary at $4.47 million, and the Tigers (ninth, $3.97 million) were the only other playoff team in the top 10.
The Brewers had the 11th-highest average salary at $3.41 million. The American League-champion Rangers ranked 15th at $3.01 million. And the NL West-champion D-backs were 22nd, with an average salary of $2.12 million.
The Rays, who won the AL Wild Card, dropped from 16th in 2010 to 28th this past season at $1.54 million. The Royals were last, two spots below Tampa Bay at $1.34 million.
Designated hitters became the highest-paid position in 2011, making an average salary of $9.32 million. The second-best compensated players were first basemen, who earned an average of $8.89 million. The average DH salary climbed nearly $2 million, from $7.43 million in 2010.
Outfielders made on average $5.62 million, second basemen $5.22 million and third basemen brought in an average of $5.18 million. The average third baseman's salary fell over $1 million from 2010, largely due to Alex Rodriguez absence among the 18 players with 100 or more games at the position.
Rounding out the list, starting pitchers made an average of $4.88 million, shortstops $3.90 million, catchers $2.57 million -- a number brought down by more than $1.5 million due in part to Twins backstop Joe Mauer's injury-riddled season -- and finally relievers at $1.95 million.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.