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Golden Games: The Money that Major League Baseball Players Make
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
On December 12, 2011, the Major League Baseball Players Association negotiated a new basic agreement with the owners of 30 Major League Clubs in the United States. This labor union document specifies the working conditions, vacations, hiring procedures, reimbursements and salaries for professional baseball players until its expiration in 2016.
MLB players made an average of $3,415,771 per year for 2012 according to USA Today.
- The teams showed a mean payroll of $98,021,906.
- The team with the highest averages were the New York Yankees, paying $6,186,321 per player for a total of $197,962,289.
- The Oakland Athletics had the lowest average wages at an annual $1,845,750 or a total of $55,372,500.
The highest paid player was third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, who earned an annual $30,000,000.
- He was followed by outfielder Vernon Wells of the Los Angeles Angels at a mean $24,187,500 yearly and pitcher, Johan Santana, who averaged 23,145,011.
- In the top 25, the lowest earning players were pitchers Josh Beckett of the Boston Red Sox and Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox, each making $17,000,000.
- Above them was outfielder Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, who received $18,000,000.
Within the highest-paid New York Yankees, other high earning players were first baseman Mark Teixeira at $23,125,000 annually, pitcher CC Sabathia at $23,000,000 and shortstop Derek Jeter at $15,729,364.
- The lowest wages belonged to two pitchers: Cesar Cabral and Brad Meyers, both of whom made $480,000 for the year.
- For the lowest-paid Oakland Athletics, outfielder Yoenia Cespedes received the highest wages of $9,000,000 per year, followed by outfielder Coco Crisp at $6,000,000 and Catcher Curt Suzuki at $5,037,500.
- Six players received the minimums of $480,000 for the year including pitchers Graham Godfrey and Tom Milone, and catcher Anthony Recker.
The basic agreement specified minimum annual player salaries of $480,000 for 2012, $490,000 for 2013 and $500,000 for 2014.
- In 2015, the minimum salary started with the 2014 pay plus a cost-of-living adjustment rounded to the nearest $500. For 2016, the minimum began with the 2015 rates plus a cost of living adjustment.
- The multi-million dollar player salaries in 2012 were obviously far above even the minimums for 2016. These amounts only represent basic salaries. Players could also earn payments for performing club services in addition to being a baseball player, in lump sums for being traded or released, the value of property rights granted to the player by the club, and compensation for post-career employment.
- Compare these rates to the mean $79,830 per year earned by professional athletes as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lows were under $17,960 yearly, while highs topped $187,199 annually.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Athletes and Sports Competitors
U.S. wages for professional athletes.