MLB end-of-year average salary a record $4M

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball’s end-of-season average salary topped $4 million for the first time, according to final calculations released by the players’ association.

The union said Friday that the average finished at $4,097,122. That marked a 3.3 per cent increase from last year, when the average rose just 0.35 per cent to $3,966,020, the lowest rise since 2004.

The commissioner’s office said its final average was $3,955,920, up 3.4 per cent from last year’s $3,825,967. The union includes a pro-rated share of option buyouts that may be earned if the option is declined, while MLB does not take those into account in its average.

There were 963 players on active rosters and disabled lists on Aug. 31, the last day before the player limit expanded from 25 per team to 40. That was down one from last year.

Baseball’s average salary declines during the season as some veterans are released and replaced by younger players. The added players earn at or close to the major league minimum, which was $535,000 this year and rises to $545,000 next season.

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