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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL'S Opening Day payroll this year—$2,655,395,194 total for the 30 clubs—was $31 million less than in 2008, a 1.2% drop and only the third year-to-year decline since the 1994 strike. Don't cry for the poor players, though, until you check out the chart below: When the '08 salary figures are converted to '09 dollars using the Consumer Price Index, the players as a group have more buying power now than they did last year. At the same time, while it would appear that the total annual payroll tripled from 1994 to 2009, when those numbers are adjusted for inflation the players' buying power merely doubled.
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
MLB ANNUAL PAYROLL
MLB ANNUAL PAYROLL IN 2009 DOLLARS