AP Newsbreak: AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4 million for first time this year

SportsAssociated Press

An eye-popping baseball record will be set even before the first pitch of the 2015 season is thrown.

The average salary when opening-day rosters are finalized Sunday will break the $4 million barrier for the first time, according to a study of all major league contracts by The Associated Press. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tops players at $31 million and Los Angeles projects to open the season with a record payroll of about $270 million.

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Fueled by the largest two-year growth in more than a decade, the average salary projects to be about $4.25 million, with the final figure depending on how many players are put on the disabled list. That is up from $3.95 million on the first day of last season and $3.65 million when 2013 began.

The average broke the $1 million mark in 1992, topped $2 million in 2001 and reached $3 million in 2008.