Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Major League Baseball payrolls plunged to $1.75 billion during the pandemic-shortened season from $4.22 billion, and the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers led with $98.6 million -- the smallest for the top spender in 20 years. Base wages for 40-man rosters tumbled to $1.54 billion, according to information sent from Major League Baseball to teams on Friday night and obtained by The Associated Press. That was down from $3.99 billion in 2019.
Major League Baseball's average salary ahead of a postponed opening day remained at around $4.4 million for the fifth straight season, according to a study of contracts by The Associated Press. Following an offseason when Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon and Christian Yelich all agreed to $200 million-plus deals, the flattened salary curve is evidence of a shrinking portion of the pie for baseball's middle class. The stagnant stretch is unprecedented since the free-agent era dawned in 1976. And that is before taking into account any decrease caused by a shortened season in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred remains confident there will be a season but is unsure when health conditions will allow training to resume.
The teams with the highest expectations for the 2021 MLB season also have the deepest pockets, spending more money on their rosters than the rest of the league. The World Series favorites Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees have baseball's highest payrolls on Opening Day. The Yankees are second in MLB and first in the American League with $197,865,670 in player salaries for this season. Coming off a World Series championship, Los Angeles arguably got even better. The Dodgers are the runaway favorites to repeat last year's title run.
It might surprise baseball fans to learn which team will start the 2018 MLB season with the highest payroll. The Boston Red Sox are set to pay their players more than any other team, ranking well ahead of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. Payrolls will change over the course of the season because of trades, though neither the Yankees nor the Dodgers are expected to surpass MLB's $197 million luxury tax threshold. The San Francisco Giants will spend more money on salaries than both teams. Let's take a look at all 30 MLB payrolls at the end of 2018 spring training, via Spotrac.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. The average Major League Baseball salary dropped for an unprecedented third straight year, even before the shortened season caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Major League Baseball Players Association said Thursday the 2020 average would have been $3.89 million if a full season had been played. That was down 4.2% from the 2019 average of $4.05 million and represented a 5.2% decrease from the record average of just under $4.1 million in 2017.