Report: Average salary up 1 percent

Updated: April 5, 2010, 1:51 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Though 14 teams in Major League Baseball have reduced payrolls compared with the beginning of last season, the average salary for players on Opening Day rosters has increased by 1 percent, according to a USA Today report.

The slight increase, which was initially reported as a 17 percent drop before being corrected on USA Today's Web site Monday, is the smallest boost in average salary since 2004, according to the revised report.

The newspaper has been charting Opening Day salaries since 1988. The survey consists of documents acquired from the players' union, teams and MLB headquarters in New York.

"The economy has affected all of us," Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz told USA Today.

The Braves' payroll stands at $84.4 million, a 13 percent decline, according to the report.

"It's a fact of life," Schuerholz said.

The average player salary rose from $3.26 million to $3.27 million, according to the report.

The New York Yankees' payroll continues to lead the league at $206.3 million, a 2 percent increase.

The Pittsburgh Pirates reduced their payroll by 28 percent to $34.9 million, the lowest in baseball. They trail the San Diego Padres at $37.8 million.

The Boston Red Sox boosted their salaries by 33 percent, the report said. Their $162.4 million ranks second. The Chicago Cubs rank third at $146.6 million.

The average salary fell just short of $3 million at the end of last season, according to The Associated Press, with the percentage increase in pay slowing to its lowest level since 2004.

The 926 players in the major leagues before rosters expanded in September averaged $2,996,000, according to the annual report of the players' association, which was obtained in November by the AP.

Management's numbers usually differ slightly because of different methods of calculation, and the commissioner's office hadn't determined its final figures when the AP's report was published.

September's average was up just 2.4 percent from 2008's late-season average of $2.93 million. The increase had not been that small since a 2.5 percent drop in 2004.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.