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MLB, Even the Yankees, Cutting Payroll During the Recession: AP

By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on April 08, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Hopefully this isn't taken as some kind of apocalyptic sign, but the AP reports that the New York Yankees and just over half of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams (16 out of 30), have cut their payroll. Specifically:

"Teams cut payrolls for their active rosters and disabled lists by $47 million from opening day in 2008 to the first day of this season...That comes out to a drop of 1.7 percent."

The New York Yankees, who are not exactly known for their tight pursestrings, cut their payroll back $7.6 million but still lead the majors in payroll comfortably. Bob DuPuy, the league's chief operating officer, explained to the AP that "[c]lubs were cautious all winter with regards to the economy and were concerned the economy might have an impact on club revenue...The spending reflected that for many clubs." Actually, considering the 1.7 percent figure and the fact that 14 other teams actually raised their payroll, too much concern probably isn't warranted.

Also, before anyone worries too much about their favorite players' paychecks, the AP noted that the "average player salary is up 2.7 percent to $3.24 million" and instead there are just less players in the league. Finally, although the free-agent market has been relatively (perhaps strangely) slow, the players' association apparently hasn't decided whether to file a collusion grievance at this point:

"'Obviously, there were a lot of economic conditions going on,' union head Donald Fehr said. 'My guess is not the same factors were considered by everyone, but I don't know that to be the case.'"


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