Major League Baseball average player salary 2003-2019

Average player salary in Major League Baseball from 2003 to 2019 (in million U.S. dollars)

by Christina Gough, last edited Aug 9, 2019
Major League Baseball average player salary 2003-2019 As one of the biggest sports leagues in America with TV viewers reaching into the millions, Major League Baseball can afford to pay its players handsomely. The average salary for a player in the MLB stood at 4.36 million U.S. dollars in 2019. While this represented a small drop on the figure from 2018, it still marks an almost twofold increase on the average salary in 2003.
Highs and lows of MLB salaries

While the stars of every MLB team take home millions every year, there is still a minimum player salary in place to ensure that all players are compensated for their efforts. The 2019 MLB minimum player salary was set at 555 thousand U.S. dollars, a significant increase on the minimum of 300 thousand U.S. dollars in 2003. The annual player salaries also vary widely from team to team – while players of the Oakland Athletics take home an average of 2.09 million U.S. dollars yearly, players for the San Francisco Giants pocket an average of 7.38 million U.S. dollars. The winners of the 2018 World Series, the Boston Red Sox, rewarded their players with an average annual salary of 6.45 million U.S. dollars.

The league’s top earners

The highest earner in the MLB in 2019 was the starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Stephen Strasburg. The 30-year-old three-time All-Star took home an annual salary of 38.33 million U.S. dollars in the 2019 season. Due to their prominent role on the team, it is unsurprising that the second highest earning player in the MLB is also a pitcher. Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer earned a salary of 37.41 million U.S. dollars during the 2019 season. The highest non-pitcher on the list was Miguel Cabrera in sixth spot. The Venezuelan first baseman for the Detroit Tigers took home a salary of 30 million U.S. dollars in 2019.  
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Average player salary in Major League Baseball from 2003 to 2019 (in million U.S. dollars)

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