NEW YORK, NOV. 6 -- The average baseball salary last season skyrocketed 19.8 percent to $586,816, according to a study by management's Player Relations Committee. It was the largest increase in one year since 1982.
The study showed that the Kansas City Royals had the highest payroll in baseball, paying their players a total of $23,617,090. The Baltimore Orioles had the lowest payroll at $8,087,702.
The Boston Red Sox were second highest at $22,713,698, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($22,456,224), Oakland Athletics ($22,274,834) and New York Mets ($22,154,333). The Mets had the highest payroll in 1989 at $21,300,878.
Just ahead of the Orioles were the Chicago White Sox ($11,118,810), Seattle Mariners ($12,591,199) and Texas Rangers ($12,753,035).
The study was distributed today at a meeting of general managers in Scottsdale, Ariz., and a copy was obtained by the Associated Press. The study includes prorated shares of signing bonuses and all earned performance bonuses, but does not include any extra money from postseason awards.
The Royals spent big money on free agent pitchers Mark Davis and Storm Davis last winter and that pushed their payroll to the top from their 1989 total of $17,101,047. It didn't help Kansas City, which finished sixth in the AL West.
The World Series champion Cincinnati Reds had the 16th-highest payroll at $15,751,395.