Baseball Player Salaries
Baseball players make a lot of money for their participation in the sport of baseball. But exactly how much do they make? This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the salaries of baseball players at all levels of the game.
Major League Baseball Player Salaries
Major League Baseball (MLB) players are the highest paid professional baseball players in the world. According to Forbes, the average MLB salary in 2020 was $4.36 million.
The highest-paid players in the league make significantly more than the league average. The highest-paid player in 2020 was Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who made $31 million.
Minor League Baseball Player Salaries
Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players are not paid nearly as much as their MLB counterparts. According to The New York Times, the average salary for a MiLB player in 2019 was just $6,000.
The salaries of MiLB players range from $1,100 to $2,150 per month for players in their first year, up to $2,150 to $2,800 per month for players in their eighth year.
Average Salaries by Position
The average salary of a MLB player varies based on the position they play. According to Spotrac, the average salary of a MLB player by position in 2020 was as follows:
- Pitchers: $4.35 million
- Catchers: $3.67 million
- Infielders: $3.55 million
- Outfielders: $4.81 million
The highest-paid players in MLB in 2020 were as follows:
- Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers ($31 million)
- Zack Greinke, Houston Astros ($30 million)
- Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals ($27.5 million)
- Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees ($36 million)
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels ($35 million)
In order to maintain competitive balance in the league, MLB has implemented a salary cap system. The salary cap for the 2020 season was $208.2 million. Teams are allowed to exceed the salary cap if they are willing to pay a luxury tax.
MLB also has a minimum salary for players. The minimum salary for a MLB player in 2020 was $563,500. This number increases incrementally each year, and will be $570,500 in 2021.
MLB players with three to six years of service time are eligible for salary arbitration. This process allows players to have their salaries determined by an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator reviews the player’s past performance and salary, and determines a salary based on their findings.
Players with less than three years of service time are not eligible for salary arbitration, and must negotiate their salaries with their teams. Players are typically able to negotiate higher salaries than the league minimum.
MLB teams often offer players performance-based bonuses in addition to their salaries. These bonuses are typically based on individual or team performance, and can add significantly to a player’s salary.
Baseball players make a lot of money for their participation in the sport of baseball. Major League Baseball players make more than the average, with the highest-paid player in 2020 making $31 million. Minor League Baseball players make significantly less, with the average salary being just $6,000 in 2019. MLB also has a salary cap system and minimum salary, and players are often able to negotiate higher salaries than the league minimum. Finally, teams often offer players performance-based bonuses in addition to their salaries.