The Major League Baseball Players Association made its survey of Opening Day player salaries public for the first time, in response to a published report that concluded a 17-percent decline in the average salary.
According to MLBPA calculations, the average salary of 828 players on Opening Day rosters, including those on disabled lists, was $3,340,133 -- a slight increase over the 2009 average of 3,317,475.
The numbers are in stark contrast to what had been reported early Monday in USA Today. The newspaper cited the average Opening Day salary at $2.7 million, then swiftly published an amended report.
The MLBPA was prompted to react by the original report, which it attributed to a calculation error by the paper.
According to the union's accounting, the cumulative season-opening payroll of the 30 Major League clubs is $2,765,630,418, representing a $55,253,618 increase over the 2009 payrolls.
USA Today acknowledged its error, and updated its report. According to an editor of the publication, the revised story was posted by midday Monday with the following notation -- a day prior to the MLBPA announcement:
"The average salary of players on opening-day rosters was incorrectly stated in the original version of this story. The average player salary is $3.27 million, an increase of less than 1 percent from 2009."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Change for a Nickel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.