Major League Baseball average player salary 2003-2020

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 4.43 million U.S. dollars in 2020. This 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 Pittsburgh Pirates take home an average of 1.69 million U.S. dollars yearly, players for the New York Yankees pocket an average of 7.69 million U.S. dollars. The winners of the 2019 World Series, the Washington Nationals, rewarded their players with an average annual salary of 5.18 million U.S. dollars.

The league’s top earners

The highest earner in the MLB in 2020 was the center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout. The 28-year-old eight-time All-Star took home an annual salary of 37.67 million U.S. dollars in the 2020 season. Due to their prominent role on the team, it is unsurprising that the second highest earning player in the MLB is a pitcher. New York Yankees star Gerrit Cole earned a salary of 36 million U.S. dollars during the 2020 season.  

Average player salary in Major League Baseball from 2003 to 2020

Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

May 2020


United States

Survey time period

2003 to 2020

Supplementary notes

Figures prior to 2019 come from earlier articles.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Single Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 / Month *
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract; Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Major League Baseball"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.