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MLB Salary Distributions by age

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

To begin, I want to credit the Baseball Data-bank for all of the data that went into today's post. If you know anything about database manipulation, and you wanted to come up with some incredibly interesting information... that is the place to go.

So, I was thinking last night about baseball's salary structure, and I wanted to see these two graphs. The first graph is just a barchart showing the total amount of money** paid by baseball teams to players by age. The second chart is another bar chart. However, it shows the average salary paid by player age. The red line on the second chart is the average player salary of the sample**, which was $2.501 million.

MLB Total Salary by Age in 2004

The chart above represents payroll data for 813 MLB contracts in 2004. The total of these contracts was $2.033 billion.


The chart above represents average player salary by age for the 813 MLB contracts. The average of all these contracts is $2.501 million.

** Now the disclaimers. First, the Baseball Data-bank salary information is incomplete. With 30 major league teams, each having 40 man rosters, there are 1,200 MLB contracts at any point in time. However, since active rosters are only 25 men, there are only about 750 active contracts at any one point in time (not including injured players).

The data-bank table represents the large majority of these contracts, and most of the contracts that are not included are league minimums ($300,000 for 2004). While the data is not comprehensive, it is definitely a good start. Thus on average, you can expect the total numbers to be understated, and the averages to be overstated.

Posted by Byron at March 16, 2005 5:17 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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So what does this tell us? That players who aren't arbitration eligible and are new to the league get paid less than veterans?

Stirring analysis.

If it were meant to be an analysis piece, there might have actually been some analysis.

Like I said, I did just want to see the charts.

As for what is interesting, the top graph looks more like a normal distribution while the bottom graph does not. That means that there are fewer old players than young players.

The average graph also shows a clear pattern of gradual increases in the first six years followed by a large jump (free agency), followed by varying levels of player compensation.

::there are fewer old players than young players.::

Shocking considering that young players make less money, have more upside to their talent, and are more likely to ride the bench.

::The average graph also shows a clear pattern of gradual increases in the first six years followed by a large jump (free agency), followed by varying levels of player compensation.::

And you didn;t know this before looking at the charts?

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