With everyone speculating a) who will spring for A-Rod and b) if the first of the 8 digits in his annual salary will reach '3' (BTW I also have an 8-digit salary - it's just that the first several digits are '0'), I thought I'd take a graphical look at mlb salary history.
The following data are plotted below from the period 1984 - 2007:
- Average mlb salary in nominal dollars
- Highest mlb salary in nominal dollars
- The average 1984 salary growing at the rate of inflation
Shocking discovery: both the average and the highest mlb salary have grown far faster than the rate of inflation. Equally shocking: in 3 of the last 4 years, it was the Yankees paying out the highest salary.
Sarcasm aside, I was mildly intrigued to notice that during 4 of the 12 seasons ranging from 1989 to 2000, the Dodgers paid out the highest salary (to Orel Hershiser, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Sheffield, and Kevin Brown, chronologically). Does this mean we have any hope for A-Rod? Probably not, but it does mean we have a good chance of overpaying for someone else.