In the first 25 years of free agency in Major League Baseball (1977-2001) the average salary skyrocketed. That growth slowed significantly in the past decade, but will likely take off again in near future with the growth of television contracts.
From 1976 (the final season without free agency) through 2001, the average salary rose from $51,501 to $2.1 million. Adjusted for inflation, that is a rise of 1,234% ($210,842 to $2.8 million if adjusted for inflation).
But since 2001, average salaries have risen from $2.3 million to $3.2 million in 2012, an inflation-adjusted rise of just 10%.
But in recent years, new television contracts for MLB teams have risen dramatically. For most teams, that extra revenue will lead to larger contracts for players in free agency, and will likely see the second era of rapid salary growth…
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