Major League Baseball's average salary shot up to more than $3.8 million this year following the steepest rise since 2001, putting big leaguers on track to top the $4-million barrier for the first time in 2015.
The Major League Baseball Players Assn. said the average salary was $3,818,923, up from $3,386,212 last year. The 12.78% hike was the biggest since a 12.83% rise from 2000 to 2001.
Player salaries are spurting after several years of more modest gains. The increase is fueled by record revenue in the $9-billion range, much of it from national television contracts and club deals with regional sports networks.
The average topped $1 million for the first time in 1992, crossed the $2-million barrier in 2001 and the $3-million mark in 2010.
Catcher David Ross agreed to a $5-million, two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, reuniting him with batterymate Jon Lester. Ross often caught Lester in Boston the past two seasons, including both of the left-hander's starts in the 2013 World Series victory.