Major League Baseball suffered massive financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, cutting player salaries by more than half and only playing a 60-game regular season. Just two years later, baseball is spending more money than ever before.
The salaries for the highest paid players in MLB are skyrocketing, in large part thanks to new TV deals generating billions of dollars in revenue for the sport. Furthermore, the addition of billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and the upcoming Washington Nationals franchise sale are bringing owners with deeper pockets into positions of power.
It was reflected this winter with some of the top MLB free agents landing record-setting contracts one after another. There are now more $300 million contracts than ever before, with MLB being one of the professional sports that guarantee contracts.
Even before teams reportedly spent nearly $4 billion guaranteed on free agents this offseason, spending was at an all-time high across the league.
According to Front Office Sports, MLB luxury tax payrolls hit $5.2 billion at the conclusion of the 2022 season. It’s a record-setting figure, marking the first time that clubs combined to spend more than $5 billion on players, including salaries, meal allowances, healthcare and pension insurance ($16 million per team).