(New York) Major baseball’s salary expenses fell to $ 1.75 billion in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, from $ 4.22 billion the previous season. The Los Angeles Dodgers, World Series champions, spent $ 98.6 million on wages, the smallest total in 20 years for the largest payroll.
Base salaries in the 40-player roster fell to $ 1.54 billion, according to information Major Baseball sent to teams on Friday and of which the Associated Press obtained a copy. This figure was 3.99 billion in 2019.
While spending on signing and performance bonuses has remained similar, spending on option buybacks for the following season more than doubled from $ 26.9 million last year to $ 58.2 million in 2020.
The Dodgers won their first World Series title since 1988 and had the biggest Majors payroll for the first time since 2017. Their spending of $ 98.6 million is the lowest for the team with the biggest mass. Major salary since 2000, when the New York Yankees spent $ 95.3 million on wages.
The Yankees were second behind the Dodgers in 2020, spending $ 83.6 million. The New York Mets followed in third with 83.4 million.
The American League champions Tampa Bay Rays spent just $ 29.4 million. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates (24.1 million) and the Baltimore Orioles (23.5 million) had smaller payrolls.
Base salaries were paid on a pro rata basis for 60 games out of the 162 regular games under an agreement between Major Baseball and the players’ union. The start of the season, scheduled for March 26, has been postponed to July 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the schedule has had to be cut short.
If full salaries had been paid and the entire schedule had been contested with a normal average number of minors’ recalls, salary expenses would likely have increased 4% from 2019.