The term "major league" refers to Major League Baseball, the league where teams such as the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals compete. Each major league team is led by a manager, which is the equivalent in baseball to a head coach in other sports, such as football and basketball. The manager of each team is assisted by a crew of coaches that oversee specialties such as hitting and pitching. In addition to traveling and receiving lodging accommodations for a 162-game, nearly six-month season, baseball managers and coaches are paid well by most standards, though not as much as their counterparts in some other sports.
The average salary of MLB managers is approximately $1.3 millon dollars annually, according to a 2007 article by Jorge Ortiz for USA Today. Their duties include overseeing coaching staff, delegating assignments, implementing game plans and deciding upon lineups for each game. Ortiz noted that the salaries of the major league's managers did not compare favorably to head coaches in other professional leagues, such as the National Basketball Association and the National Football League, where they earned $3.95 million and $3.25 million, respectively.
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Highest and Lowest
As of 2007, according to an article by Sports Business Daily, some of the highest-paid managers of Major League Baseball were Joe Torre of the New York Yankees at $7.5 million dollars, Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs at $3.5 million, and Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals at $2.8 million. Rounding out the top end of the list were Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees at $2.6 million, and Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels, with a salary of $2 million. Among the lowest-paid managers were Bob Geren of the Oakland Athletics and Manny Acta of the Washington Nationals, with salaries of $500,000 annually, plus Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at $550,000, and Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers — who lost in the World Series in 2010 — at $600,000. Only some of those managers are still managing at the time of publication of this article.
Assisting a manager are several coaches that include a bench coach, hitting coach, pitching coach, first and third base coaches, and bullpen coach. Their jobs range from helping with in-game decisons, to providing instruction for runners on movement around first and third base, to coordinating the rotation and activity of pitchers in the bullpen. The highest-paid of these coaches are pitching and hitting coaches, who earn six-figure salaries.
Among the highest-paid non-manager coaches in the MLB is Rudy Jaramillo, who signed a multi-year deal with the Chicago Cubs in 2009 at more than $750,000 annually. Previously, Jaramillio earned $650,000 in his role as a hitting coach. A May 2010 article for the Huffington Post states that the highest-paid pitching coach earns about $800,000 annually.
- USA Today; Baseball Skippers' Pay Compares Unfavorably; Jorge Ortiz; October 2007
- Sports Business Daily; USA Today Finds MLB Managers Earn Far Less Than NFL, NBA Coaches; November 2007
- ESPN Chicago; Cubs, Jaramillo Begin Contract Talks; Bruce Levine; October 2009
- The Huffington Post; Dream Team of Undervalued Coaches Paying Off Big; Steve Philips; May 2010
- NYDailyNws.com; Willie Randolph Hired as Brewers Bench Coach; Anthony Mccarion; November 2008