FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014, file photo, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout makes a leaping catch on the run of a ball hit by Seattle Mariners' Kendrys Morales in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren
December 23, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball's average salary shot up to more than $3.8 million this year following the steepest rise in more than a decade, putting big leaguers on track to top the $4 million barrier for the first time in 2015.

The Major League Baseball Players Association said Tuesday the average salary was $3,818,923, up from $3,386,212 last year. The 12.78 percent hike was the biggest since a 12.83 percent 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.

MLB's wages are a stark contrast to the economy at large. The average U.S. wage rose 1.3 percent in 2013 to $43,041, according to the Social Security Administration.

Figures are based on 910 players. The union has based its annual studies on rosters and disabled lists as of Aug. 31 - the last day before active rosters expand from 25 per team to 40.

The commissioner's office, which uses slightly different methods, put its average at $3,726,243, an increase of 12 percent from last year's $3,326,645. MLB revised its figure Tuesday from an initial average of $3,692,123 it calculated last week.

The union did not release its annual averages for teams and positions.

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