APNewsBreak: MLB average salary drops, AP study finds
NEW YORK (AP) — A study by The Associated Press determined the average major league salary on opening day dropped slightly following an offseason of slashed contracts for many free agents and the decisions to start three highly paid players in the minor leagues.
The $4.41 million average Thursday fell 0.9 percent from last year’s starting figure of $4.45 million, according to the AP’s calculations. It was only the second drop since the end of the 1994-95 strike, after a 2.7 decrease in 2004.
Two late-signing free agent pitchers were optioned to farm teams just ahead of Thursday’s openers to get more preparation time: Philadelphia’s Jake Arrieta and Baltimore’s Alex Cobb. If they had remained in the majors, the average would have been down just $1,380. And if Arizona had not sent down outfielder Yasmany Tomas, the average would have been up 0.2 percent to $4.46 million.