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Payrolls Newsbeat

Monday, August 10, 2020

MLB average salary down due to pandemic

Salaries averaged $1,295,942 on expanded Opening Day rosters after prorated pay was factored in, according to the AP study. That must feel like a throwback paycheck, similar to a vintage jersey—it’s the lowest average in the AP’s annual Opening Day study since $1,176,967 in 1996 and down from $4,375,486 at the start of the 2019 season.

Unhappy with flattening salaries during the first four years of a collective bargaining agreement that runs to December 2021, players spoke even before the curtailed season of seeking large changes. Talks figure to be the most contentious since the 1994-95 strike, the last shortened seasons before this one.

Even with contracts at full value and projected for 25-man active rosters, this year’s average of $4,520,010 would have represented just a 3.1% increase over 2016’s $4,381,980.

Part of the drop in the average was caused by roster expansion to an active limit of 30 per team at the season’s start, adding more major leaguers making the $563,500 minimum or close to it. There were 1,007 players on Opening Day rosters and injured lists, up from 878 last year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2020 at 04:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: payrolls

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Projecting Team Payrolls for the 2021 Season

What this winter’s free agent market ends up looking like — and how lucrative it proves to be for players — is unsurprisingly very much in flux. The 2020 season is still in flux, and how it plays out, or if it ends up being played at all, will have a significant affect on the offseason. If there’s no season, we know that players will still receive service time, making guys like Mookie Betts, James Paxton, and J.T. Realmuto free agents. Players will receive raises in arbitration. For competitive balance tax purposes, no season would mean no tax payments. The Red Sox would still need to stay under the $210 million tax threshold in order to reset their tax amount, though with 2021 being the final season of the current CBA between the players and owners, the ramifications of such a move are very much unknown and could end up being completely nullified by a new deal.

If some version of the season does get played, there might be slightly fewer questions, but the winter will still bring about considerable uncertainty. With that in mind, and the season still a ways off, let’s take a moment to see how team payrolls are shaping up this offseason. For the graph below, I looked at competitive balance tax payrolls, which take the average annual value of contracts and include around $15 million in benefits, with a few million for 40-man players not on the active roster, as well as expected minimum salaries players. I estimated arbitration-eligible players by giving them a 50% raise over 2020 figures and for the most part, I declined club options. The only options shown as exercised below are for Adam Eaton, Starling Marte, Anthony Rizzo, and Kolten Wong. All others are presumed declined. All figures are from our RosterResource Payroll pages. If no season were to take place, this is what we might see as payroll heading into free agency.

....

These figures are without trades or non-tenders of players in arbitration. The Cubs are at the top at roughly $188 million, with the Astros, Angels, and Yankees not too far behind. All told, these figures add up to $3.86 billion. That is a significant sum, but also consider that at the end of last offseason using the same methodology, the payrolls were $370 million higher. There’s simply a huge number of older, long-term contracts coming off the books at the end of this season. A busy offseason of spending last winter added $476 million to payrolls heading into 2020, an increase in total payroll of a little under 1%, but next year’s free agents are unlikely to replicate that total, which, combined with those big contracts running their course, could amount to a big drop in payroll.

Even under normal circumstances, it looked like payroll in 2021 was going to take a huge dip from previous seasons. With the roughly $850 million coming off the books unlikely to be replaced by raises in arbitration, it would take a massive free agent winter to get anywhere near 2020 figures. And while Mookie Betts is one heck of a headliner, 2020’s supporting cast, populated as it is by players like J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, Trevor Bauer, and Marcus Semien, likely won’t get teams close to last year’s spending even before we consider the fallout out from COVID-19 and its potential effects. It already seemed likely that payrolls would decrease by somewhere close to half a billion dollars in 2021, the final year of the current CBA. If spending is severely curtailed or teams are particularly aggressive with non-tenders in arbitration, the figure could be worse.

A consideration of aspects of the finances of the game for the season after next- something of relevance to take note of, as it could end up important in other regards…..

 

QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 01:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, payrolls, projections

 

 

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