Major League Baseball teams continue to spend money like a Qatari soccer official.
Since the Giants beat the Rangers in the World Series, Major League Baseball teams have signed 72 free agents (you can follow along with our MLB Offseason Transaction Tracker).
Oh yeah, and MLB contracts are guaranteed (anybody still think Carl Crawford should have gone to Nebraska to play quarterback?).
With players like Crawford (7yrs/$142M), Jayson Werth (7yrs/$126M) and Cliff Lee (5yrs/$120M) leading the way (and breaking the curve), the 72 free agents have signed for an average of $14.0 million per contract and those players will make an average of $4.5 million in 2011. The average major leaguer was paid over $3 million in 2010.
And none of that money includes the $161 million extension that the Red Sox are reportedly set to give Adrian Gonzalez as part of the trade that brought the three-time All-Star to Boston from the Padres.
If we break it down even further, we see that position players are getting paid more than free agent pitchers. The 43 free agent position players are averaging $15.4 million contracts and a 2011 salary of $4.6 million. The 29 pitchers have signed for an average of $11.8 million and a 2011 salary of $4.4 million.
The average length of the contracts is 1.86 years, with position players receiving deals only slightly longer (1.88) than pitchers (1.83).
In other corners of the sporting world, the NFL, NBA and NHL are all facing potential lockouts in the next year or two. And yet baseball is feeling well enough to give out $1 billion in guaranteed contracts. Yeah, Major League Baseball is doing just fine, thanks.
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