By: Tyler Curry


Baseball is like the free market of professional sports leagues and, like New York City, the Yankees function as the business capital of the world. Major League Baseball (MLB) teams chart some of the highest paid players in professional sports and boast competitive revenue streams from its patrons.

Unlike other sports affiliations, top MBL salaries remain uncapped to best suit exceptional players. In short, caps are the maximum budget that team owners can allot to player salaries without paying additional taxes. MLB clubs bypass this technicality, providing players with a higher threshold of earning potential.

Using Visart software and data on MLB Player salaries gathered from The Baseball Cube and Wikipedia, records emerged shedding light to a few notable trends – beginning with top major league player salaries, since 1985.

TOP MLB SALARIES

The Economics 1The charts show a gradually increasing average annual salary with a fairly steady increase, since 1985.

AVERAGE ANNUAL MLB SALARY

The Economics 2Noticeable top salary increases in ’97-’98 (nearly $5 million) and ’00 -’01 (over $7 million) can be deduced as a cultural shift in spectator-ship. Top players are safe investments for team owners with game statistics that groom their projected success on a potential team. So is a player’s yearly salary reflective of their overall value on the team?

TOP PAID MLB PLAYER BY YEAR

The Economics 3

NUMBER OF YEARS AS TOP-PAID MLB PLAYER

The Economics 4Speaking of value, three-time MVP, Alex Rodriguez, is a current Major League mogul. According to the records, A-Rod is the highest paid MLB player of all time – totaling over $356 million in earnings and eleven years as the highest compensated athlete.

Despite his rise to fame and fortune, there is a noticeable decline in Rodriguez’s average yearly earnings.

LIFETIME EARNINGS AND NUMBER OF ACTIVE SEASONS

The Economics 5A closer looks shows that, currently, Rodriguez lags behind Zack Greinke as 2014’s highest paid player. At a sum of $90 million in his eleventh season, Greinke still has a ways to go before he can scratch the surface of Rodriguez’s twenty-one season, $359 million Empire – but then again, there will always be someone trying to claim the throne.