Minimum player salary in Major League Baseball from 2003 to 2014 (in 1,000 U.S. dollars)

This statistic depicts the minimum player salary in Major League Baseball from 2003 to 2015. In 2009, the minimum player salary in Major League Baseball was determined to be 400 thousand U.S. dollars.

Major League Baseball salaries - additional information

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the governing body of the sport in the United States and Canada, uniting two leagues — the American League (AL) and the National League (AL), each with 15 teams and three divisions. MLB not only establishes the rules and schedule of play throughout North America, but also how its players, coaches and other staff are paid or taxed each season.

In addition to performance incentives, such as prizes for games won, MLB players also receive generous yearly salaries, although with major differences between divisions, teams and positions. As of 2014, the Major League Baseball minimum salary was set at 500 thousand U.S. dollars per year, but the average player salary in the MLB is much higher: some 3.69 million U.S dollars as of 2014. Certain positions, such as first base or starting pitcher, are usually better paid, due to the important role they are considered to have in the game. The highest paid players in the MLB in the 2015 season are Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, with an annual salary of 27 million U.S. dollars per annum each. In fact, as of 2015, their team has surpassed the New York Yankees as the best-paid baseball team and the fifth highest-paid sports team in the world.

In order to discourage certain teams from spending excessive money on players’ salary, MLB implements a luxury tax system. Every year a maximum team salary is established and money over this limit is paid to the league. In contrast, other professional sports leagues in the North America, such as NHL, NFL or NBA, usually implement a salary cap system, which limits the maximum amount of money that a team can spend on player salaries. Often times there are also regulations regarding a so-called salary floor – the minimum salary of the team as a whole, which MLB also does not employ. The salary cap of NBA in the 2015/2016 season is set to surpass 66 million U.S. dollars per team, while the salary floor will reach 63 million. NFL’s maximum team salary has been established at 143 million U.S. dollars in 2015.

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 Salary in thousand U.S. dollars
2003 300
2004 300
2005 316
2006 327
2007 380
2008 390
2009 400
2010 400
2011 414
2012 480
2013 490
2014 500
2015 507.5
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