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MLB Team Salaries By Year

By Roshan Khatiwada / 26 July 2023 10:35 AM

The Mets have the highest payroll this season overtaking the Dodgers who held the position for the last three years
Source : instagram

MLB team salaries by year have increased by 7.43% in 2023 compared to 2022. The average team salary for the 2023 MLB season is $161,507,783 as per Sportrac.

Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the world. The league attracts some of the best athletes in the world and has a huge fanbase.

The thirty teams in MLB spend a lot of money on signing top players and paying them a handsome salary. The pay depends on the skill and performance of the players.

The New York Mets have the highest payroll in the ongoing season. The salary for the 26-man roster of the Mets is $252,875,895, and the total wage rises to $348,830,871 when including the compensation for buried, suspended, and retained players.

On the other hand, the A's are the team with the lowest payroll having $34,762,476 for the 25-man roster they currently have. The total salary of A's for the ongoing MLB season is $60,752,515.

MLB Teams Salaries Since 2019

MLB salary cap by team is unavailable as the league does not have a salary cap for its teams, unlike other sports. It has a luxury tax system in place instead.

The tax system penalizes teams whose total payroll for the season exceeds a specific threshold. The threshold for the ongoing season is $233 million, and the rate depends on how many consecutive years the team has exceeded the threshold and by how much.

2019 MLB Season

Boston Red Sox had the highest salary during the 2019 MLB season. Red Sox, with a total salary of 222,171,123, and the Cubs, with 210,358,488, were the only teams to exceed the competitive balance tax threshold of $206 million.

Further, the Bay Rays had the lowest payroll, with $60,444,931. They were the only team in the majors with a payroll of less than $70,000,000.

Triston Casas of the Red Sox celebrating after smashing a dinger against the Cubs at Wrigley Field
Source : instagram

Here are the salaries of MLB teams during the 2019 season:

  • Boston Red Sox - $222,171,123
  • Chicago Cubs - $210,358,488
  • New York Yankees - $208,084,848
  • Los Angeles Dodgers - $196,729,548
  • San Francisco Giants - $178,286,222
  • St. Louis Cardinals - $162,830,430    
  • Washington Nationals - $161,877,935    
  • Houston Astros - $160,774,666    
  • Los Angeles Angels - $159,378,583    
  • New York Mets - $158,999,270
  • Seattle Mariners - $150,906,143
  • Colorado Rockies - $147,433,009
  • Philadelphia Phillies - $140,711,962    
  • Texas Rangers - $127,660,652    
  • Cincinnati Red - $126,423,214
  • Milwaukee Brewers - $124,755,400    
  • Arizona Diamondbacks - $123,932,983
  • Minnesota Twins - $121,276,933    
  • Cleveland Guardians - $119,241,701    
  • Detroit Tigers - $116,478,400
  • Atlanta Braves - $113,778,369
  • Toronto Blue Jays - $112,037,006
  • Kansas City Royals - $100,658,316
  • San Diego Padres - $99,205,017
  • Oakland Athletics - $92,318,333
  • Chicago White Sox - $89,354,534
  • Pittsburgh Pirates - $76,589,154
  • Baltimore Orioles - $72,722,906
  • Miami Marlins - $72,449,404
  • Tampa Bay Rays - $60,444,931

2020 MLB Season

The 2020 season was affected by the pandemic and had fewer games affecting the total payroll of the MLB teams. Each team had a significant reduction in the amount.

The Dodgers were at the top with an overall salary of $124,917,397, significantly less than the previous season's highest payroll team. The Orioles were the team at the bottom with $23,478,635, the only franchise below $25 million.

Billy McKinney robbing a home run at Yankee Stadium in a game against the Dodgers
Source : instagram

Here are the salaries of MLB teams during the 2020 season:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers - $124,917,397
  • New York Yankees - $111,939,081
  • Chicago Cubs - $86,596,171
  • Boston Red Sox - $84,210,390
  • Houston Astros - $82,890,957
  • New York Mets - $81,945,598
  • Washington Nationals - $73,543,547
  • San Francisco Giants - $73,408,817
  • St. Louis Cardinals - $73,246,343
  • San Diego Padres - $73,097,954
  • Colorado Rockies - $67,808,533
  • Los Angeles Angels - $67,040,893
  • Arizona Diamondbacks - $65,598,752
  • Texas Rangers - $64,214,137
  • Atlanta Braves - $63,561,931
  • Minnesota Twins - $55,679,689
  • Cincinnati Reds - $55,535,890
  • Toronto Blue Jays - $54,997,060
  • Chicago White Sox - $53,665,251
  • Seattle Mariners - $51,433,829
  • Detroit Tigers - $43,164,880
  • Milwaukee Brewers - $41,434,086
  • Cleveland Guardians - $39,299,107
  • Oakland Athletics - $36,720,178
  • Kansas City Royals - $34,812,194
  • Miami Marlins - $34,222,260
  • Tampa Bay Rays - $28,290,689
  • Pittsburgh Pirates - $25,337,837
  • Baltimore Orioles - $23,478,635

2021 MLB Season

The Dodgers topped the Yankees during the 2021 major league season. The difference between the Dodgers in first place and the Yankees in second place was $60 million, more than the total salary of the four bottom-ranked teams.

Dodgers had a total payroll of over $266 million during the campaign, whereas the Orioles, in last place, had $42,421,870.

The Dodgers are currently at the top of the West Division of the National League
Source : instagram

Here are the salaries of MLB teams during the 2021 season:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers - $266,020,809
  • New York Yankees - $205,669,863
  • New York Mets - $201,189,189
  • Philadelphia Phillies - $197,263,223
  • Houston Astros - $194,222,042
  • Boston Red Sox - $187,100,784
  • Los Angeles Angels     - $183,849,560
  • San Diego Padres - $179,764,272
  • San Francisco Giants - $171,890,308
  • Atlanta Braves - $152,750,691
  • St. Louis Cardinals - $151,469,994
  • Toronto Blue Jays - $150,140,253
  • Washington Nationals - $144,415,187
  • Chicago Cubs - $144,037,170
  • Chicago White Sox - $140,926,169
  • Cincinnati Reds - $126,587,447
  • Minnesota Twins - $120,084,606
  • Colorado Rockies - $116,408,966
  • Milwaukee Brewers - $99,377,415
  • Texas Rangers - $95,788,819
  • Arizona Diamondbacks - $91,632,929
  • Kansas City Royals - $91,595,545
  • Oakland Athletics - $90,400,598
  • Detroit Tigers - $86,348,945
  • Seattle Mariners - $83,822,113
  • Tampa Bay Rays - $70,836,327
  • Miami Marlins - $58,157,900
  • Pittsburgh Pirates - $54,356,609
  • Cleveland Indians - $50,670,534
  • Baltimore Orioles - $42,421,870

2022 MLB Season

Last season, the Dodgers again led the MLB in the category of highest salary. They had a total payroll of $270,381,426, an excess of more than $40 million from the competitive balance tax, which had a threshold of $230 million for the year.

Similarly, the Orioles had the league's lowest payroll of $44,888,388. The Mets, Yankees, and Phillies joined the team from Los Angeles as the teams that exceeded the threshold.

Here are the salaries of MLB teams during the 2022 season:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers - $270,381,426
  • New York Mets - $268,292,506
  • New York Yankees - $252,957,200
  • Philadelphia Phillies - $244,484,097
  • San Diego Padres - $224,511,694
  • Boston Red Sox - $211,812,131
  • Chicago White Sox - $203,205,326
  • Houston Astros - $183,791,796
  • Atlanta Braves - $183,438,888
  • Los Angeles Angels - $179,877,811
  • Toronto Blue Jays - $177,013,980
  • San Francisco Giants - $162,453,046
  • St. Louis Cardinals - $156,428,325
  • Chicago Cubs - $151,054,737
  • Texas Rangers - $150,037,446
  • Minnesota Twins - $149,030,158
  • Colorado Rockies - $140,012,218
  • Detroit Tigers - $136,287,588
  • Milwaukee Brewers - $130,769,325
  • Washington Nationals - $126,809,535
  • Seattle Mariners - $115,838,907
  • Cincinnati Reds - $115,467,321
  • Tampa Bay Rays - $98,342,073
  • Kansas City Royals - $92,613,711
  • Arizona Diamondbacks - $85,964,090
  • Miami Marlins - $82,954,422
  • Cleveland Guardians - $66,477,492
  • Pittsburgh Pirates - $56,184,032
  • Oakland Athletics - $48,443,900
  • Baltimore Orioles - $44,888,388

MLB Team Salaries 2023

The average salary for MLB teams for the 2023 major league campaign is $161,517,747. The Mets have the highest payroll, whereas the Athletics have the lowest.

Max Scherzer of the Dodgers is the highest-paid athlete, just like the previous year. He has a total salary of $58.33M for the 2023 campaign.

Here are the salaries of MLB teams for the 2023 campaign:

TeamPayroll for 2023
New York Mets$348,830,871
New York Yankees$279,309,819
San Diego Padres$247,152,951
Philadelphia Phillies$242,776,104
Los Angeles Dodgers$228,029,845
Los Angeles Angels$218,376,209
Toronto Blue Jays$212,505,276
Atlanta Braves$202,373,592
Texas Rangers$198,944,642
Houston Astros$191,465,551
San Francisco Giants$184,724,601
Chicago White Sox$184,482,052
Chicago Cubs$182,950,715
Boston Red Sox$181,140,092
Colorado Rockies$179,707,979
St. Louis Cardinals$160,748,634
Minnesota Twins$154,206,146
Seattle Mariners$136,328,673
Detroit Tigers$123,417,635
Milwaukee Brewers$122,572,551
Arizona Diamondbacks$116,076,458
Miami Marlins$96,126,377
Washington Nationals$94,274,296
Kansas City Royals$92,727,347
Cincinnati Reds$92,485,871
Cleveland Guardians$91,332,900
Tampa Bay Rays$76,650,191
Pittsburgh Pirates$76,018,673
Baltimore Orioles$68,772,868
Oakland Athletics$60,752,515

MLB Salary Cap By Team

MLB salary cap by team has no limits as the baseball league has no fixed salary cap. However, a luxury tax system regulates the total money a team can spend.

Most of the professional sports leagues in the USA have a salary cap that restricts teams from offering players huge salaries and crossing the amount. But in MLB, the luxury tax system, also known as the Competitive Balance Tax, regulates the payroll of athletes.

Teams that cross the luxury tax threshold are fined a specific amount of the excess salary.  A team is fined 20 percent for the first offense, whereas two consecutive offenses are fined 30 percent.

Any team that breaches the thresholds three or more times consecutively will be fined 50 percent of the amount. The Yankees surpassed the threshold for fifteen straight seasons from 2003 to 2017 and a further two in 2019 and 2020, for which they had to pay $348 million as tax.

Here is the luxury tax threshold from 2019 to 2026:

YearCompetitive Balance Tax Threshold
2019$206 million
2020$208 million
2021$210 million
2022$230 million
2023$233 million
2024$237 million
2025$241 million
2026$244 million

MLB Team Payrolls By Year

MLB team payrolls by year increase annually as the luxury tax threshold increases yearly. The threshold increased by $ 3 million this season compared to last.

Yankees payroll by year has been increasing annually for the last few seasons except for the 2021 season. From $201,074,956 in 2021, the value has reached $279,309,819 for the 2023 season.

Average MLB salary by year has been on the rise every year. The pandemic affected shortened season and saw a decrease in the amount; however, the average increased the following season.

Here are the average major league salary for the last five seasons:

YearAverage MLB Salary
2023$161,517,747
2022$150,327,452
2021$131,640,005
2020$61,571,993
2019$133,595,649

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