Major League Baseball's average salary shot up to more than $3.8-million (U.S.) this year following the steepest rise since 2001, putting big-leaguers on track to top the $4-million barrier for the first time in 2015.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said Tuesday the average salary was $3,818,923, up from $3,386,212 last year. The 12.78-per-cent hike was the biggest since a 12.83-per-cent rise from 2000 to 2001.
Player salaries are spurting after several years of more modest gains. The increase is fuelled by record revenue in the $9-billion range, much of it from national television contracts and club deals with regional sports networks.
The average topped $1-million for the first time in 1992, crossed the $2-million barrier in 2001 and the $3-million mark in 2010.
MLB's wages are a stark contrast to the economy at large. The average U.S. wage rose 1.3 per cent in 2013 to $43,041, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Figures are based on 910 players. The union has based its annual studies on rosters and disabled lists as of Aug. 31 – the last day before active rosters expand from 25 per team to 40.
The commissioner's office, which uses slightly different methods, put its average at $3,726,243, an increase of 12 per cent from last year's $3,326,645. MLB revised its figure Tuesday from an initial average of $3,692,123 it calculated last week.