In 2004, the minimum salary was $300,000 and the average salary was $2,313,535. Previously, in 2003, the minimum salary was $300,000 and the average salary was $2,372,189. Salaries dropped 2.5% from 2003 to 2004.
It was the first drop since 1995, after the strike-shortened season. Before that the only time the average salary for a MLB player dropped was in 1987, when owners conspired in an act of collusion.
The team with the highest average salary were the Yankees with an average player salary of $6.38M, a new MLB record. World Series champion Boston was second at $3.71 million and the $2.67 million gap between New York and the Red Sox was greater than the averages for 20 of the 30 major league teams. Pittsburgh had the lowest average salary at $917,126. First basemen were the highest-paid players at an average of $6.8 million, followed by outfielders ($4.5 million), third basemen ($3.8 million), starting pitchers ($3.7 million), catchers and shortstops ($3.5 million), second basemen ($2.9 million), designated hitters ($2.6 million) and relief pitchers ($1.4 million). The average salaries were based on the 927 players on Aug. 31 rosters.
Thus, the 2005 minimum salary was $316,000 and the minimum salary for all 40-man roster players with 2 years on the 40-man roster or at least 1 day of ML service time rose to $52,600> and in 2006— the 2005 minimum plus a cost of living adjustment,rounded to the nearest $500 (the cost of living adjustment cannot lower the mini. salary to under the 2005 minimum)
No player's salary can be reduced more than 20% of his previous season's salary or 30% of the season before last