NEW YORK » Major League Baseball’s average salary shot up to more than $3.8 million this year following the steepest rise in more than a decade, putting big leaguers on track to top the $4 million barrier for the first time in 2015.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said Tuesday the average salary was $3,818,923, up from $3,386,212 last year. The 12.78 percent hike was the biggest since a 12.83 percent rise from 2000 to 2001.
Player salaries are spurting after several years of more modest gains. The increase is fueled by record revenue in the $9 billion range, much of it from national television contracts and club deals with regional sports networks.
The average topped $1 million for the first time in 1992, crossed the $2 million barrier in 2001 and the $3 million mark in 2010.
MLB’s wages are a stark contrast to the economy at large. The average U.S. wage rose 1.3 percent in 2013 to $43,041, according to the Social Security Administration.
Figures are based on 910 players. The union has based its annual studies on rosters and disabled lists as of Aug. 31 — the last day before active rosters expand from 25 per team to 40.
The commissioner’s office, which uses slightly different methods, put its average at $3,726,243, an increase of 12 percent from last year’s $3,326,645. MLB revised its figure Tuesday from an initial average of $3,692,123 it calculated last week.
The union did not release its annual averages for teams and positions.