Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper watches his single off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

AP study: MLB average salary on track for 2nd straight drop

March 26, 2019 - 2:29 am

NEW YORK (AP) — According to projections by The Associated Press, even with huge new contracts for Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado, Major League Baseball's average salary is on track to drop on opening day for an unprecedented second straight season.

The 872 players on rosters and injured lists on Monday evening averaged $4.36 million, down from $4.41 million at the start of last season and $4.45 million on opening day in 2017, according to AP studies.

Back-to-back drops follow consecutive slow free-agent markets that saw salaries slashed for many veterans, and top pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain unsigned as openers approached.

This year's exact figure could rise or fall when teams set opening-day rosters Thursday. The number will be impacted by how many players go on the injured list and how many lower-priced replacements are put on active rosters.

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