Nov 30, 2009, 6:48 PM EDT
Although the flailing economy had a big impact on the non-elite free agents last winter, the average major league salary did increase a bit this year to $2.996 million, according to numbers from The Associated Press. That’s up 2.4 percent from a $2.93 million figure in 2008.
The increase was the tiniest since a 2.5 percent drop in 2004.
The Yankees had the highest average annual salary once again, coming in at $7.66 million. The Pirates ($790,000) and Padres ($959,000) were the only ones to come in at under $1 million.
The AP numbers are calculated based on the season as a whole, which is why the Pirates occupy the bottom spot. They had a significantly higher Opening Day payroll than either the Padres or Marlins. The Mets, who had the second-highest Opening Day payroll, dropped all of the way to ninth because of all of the inexpensive players they used in an injury-ruined campaign.
See also: AP list of average salaries per year
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