MLB average salary up $1K after arbitration decisions, deals

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NEW YORK – Recent arbitration decisions and settlements have lifted Major League Baseball’s average salary by 6% from the start of the 2021 season to $4,415,275, according to a study by The Associated Press.

When the AP first published the study on April 14, the average was $4,414,184. At the time, 23 players were eligible for arbitration, so the study used midpoints of the figures submitted by players and teams.

The revision replaced the midpoints with the figures determined by arbitration panels or agreements that avoided hearings, showing an increase of $1,091. Teams won nine of 13 cases that went to hearings.

Players averaged $4,167,164 at the start of the 2021 season. The record is $4,451,508 set in 2017, before the salary slide that angered players during the labor contract that expired last December.

The players’ association uses slightly different methodology, and calculated its 2022 opening day average at $4,467,314.

This year’s average would have been a record $4.62 million had active rosters not been expanded from 26 to 28 through May 1 following the shortened spring training, adding players who are at the $700,000 minimum or close to it.

The new labor contract’s $50 million bonus pool for lower-salaried players who are not yet eligible for arbitration will boost the final average salary; adding that figure and dropping the added 60 players, the average would be $4.68 million.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.