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Why The Biz of Baseball and The AP Report Differing Salary Arb Figures PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 21 February 2009 20:40

The Biz of BaseballOn Friday, The Biz of Baseball did a recap regarding MLB salary arbitration figures for 2009. Based on our research, we reported the following:

The total combined 2008 salaries for the 111 players that filed for salary arbitration in 2009 was $122,947,513. After reaching contracts, these players will see a combined salary figure of $298,891,250 for 2009, or an increase of 143 percent.

On Saturday, The Associated Press reported that the increase in salaries from 2008 to 2009 was 172 percent, a considerable difference between the 143 percent increase The Biz of Baseball is reporting.

The explanation is a difference in methodologies used to derive our figures.

The AP is using AAV (annual average value) for the 15 multi-year contracts, as well as three salary arb players coming off multi-year contracts where AAV was used. The Biz of Baseball is using the exact ’09 salary figure for a given multi-year contract. As an example, AAV for Nick Markakis comes to $11,016,667 for 2009 whereas The Biz of Baseball is using $3,000,000 for his '09 salary. We based this figure on how Markakis' salary breaks out over the life of the contract:

Markakis will make $3M in '09, $6.75M in 2010, $10.25M in 2011, $12M in 2012, $15M in 2013, $15M in 2014. Club option in 2015 for $17.5M or $2M buyout (but player can void  the option with no buyout and become FA). $2M signing bonus. He can raise the base each year by $500K if he makes the All-Star team, or finishes in the top 10 in MVP voting the previous year.

We wished to address this to remove any questions as to the difference in the reports as both figures are correct based on the different methodologies employed.

For more on how The Associated Press is using AAV to calculate 2009 salary figures for those that filed for salary arbitration, see the following:

The AP: Arbitration Study

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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