Bank transfers from Major League Baseball clubs to Dominican baseball players this year for payroll purposes showed a decrease compared to 2022. There were US$12.9 million less, but even so, it is a fortune enough to cover the budgets of half a dozen ministries.
The 171 players who played in the 2023 regular series or were injured, but with guaranteed deals, totaled US$446,068,467. This is a 2.8% decrease from the US$459,002,490 received by the 182 men who received payments in 2022.
However, the figure shows an increase over what was “secured” by the group that started the season in late March. At that time, that group of 98 players could earn up to US$427,898,514, so the final balance shows a gross increase of US$18,169,953 and a percentage increase of 4.2%.
The improvement can be explained by the promotion of 31 players to the Big Leagues during the year and the call-up of another 41 players with previous experience, but who did not start on the payroll. That group mitigated the losses of a portion of the two-way contract starters, who were not guaranteed.
This is the case of Hanser Alberto. According to the sports contract website Spotrac, the Franco Franco-Coris native’s contract with the Chicago White Sox contemplated payments of US$1.6 million if he remained with the team for the entire season. But the utility player only received US$454,285, since he was released on June 4 without a minor league assignment.
Oscar Gonzalez, who closed the 2022 campaign on a high note with an outstanding performance with the Guardians in the postseason, started the season with a $722,600 cap hit, but only played 54 games for the big team and spent most of the season in AAA. He only collected US$306,915.
When play ball! was called in March, only 60 players were guaranteed their money. The rest were subject to his time on the first team.
The season schedule consisted of 186 days and was paid at a rate of at least US$3,871 per roster day. Hence, the player with less than three years of service who played the entire regular phase did not earn less than US$720,000 before taxes.
This was the case of relievers Elvin Rodríguez and José López, called up by the Rays in June and July, who only stayed with the team for one day and were paid US$3,871 as big-leaguers.
Juan Soto was paid US$3,871 per day of work with the Padres. The outfielder was paid US$123,655 for each day on the roster, which means that with two days of work he reached the average salary per year of a psychiatrist in the United States, which according to Forbes was the highest paid occupation in 2022 (US$226,880), followed closely by neurologists (US$224,260).
On average, Dominicans earned US$2.6 million if the total is divided among the players, although a simple look under the microscope shows that only 45 were paid above that amount. Only 65 got payouts of at least US$1 million and, as usual, 23% of the players (41) took 80% of the money (US$357 million).
Almost fifty Dominicans have taken part in the post-season and will earn proportions of the money collected from ticket sales, according to the number of games played by their club.
Another pending income is the distribution of the US$50 million to be made by the players’ union for the 100 most outstanding players who have not accumulated three years of service.
Players such as Elly de la Cruz (Reds), Eury Pérez (Marlins), Geraldo Perdomo (Diamondbacks), Félix Bautista (Orioles), Yainer Díaz (Astros), Esteury Ruiz (Athletics), José Sirí (Rays), Brayan Bello (Red Sox) and Christopher Morel (Cubs) are candidates to receive extra payments, which may exceed their salaries.