Spending was down dramatically on player payroll in Major League Baseball for 2018, based on final payroll figures.
Based on figures provided by the Associated Press, the 30 clubs in MLB spent $4.548 billion on player salaries. That was down $115.388 million compared to 2017.
The decline in spending on player payroll is the first-time since 2010 ($2,911,575,488) to 2009 ($2,913,904,332) in Major League Baseball. The drop of $115,390,452 between 2018 and last year is the second-largest drop year-over-year since 2004 (-$204,784,305). Should final total player payrolls drop again in 2019 it will mark only the second time since 2004-05 that decline has occurred in consecutive years.
Biggest drop was the Tigers, decreasing end of year player payroll from $207,204,947 in 2017 to $135,349,421 in 2018, a drop of nearly $72 million ($71,855,526).
Other large drops included the two clubs that have been in an arms race around spending over the last several seasons: The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. Both these clubs got under the Luxury Tax threshold by decreasing spending dramatically.