The major league minimum salary will remain at $507,500 in 2016, the same as in 2015, because of the Consumer Price Index released on Tuesday morning. Major League Baseball has not yet made the announcement.
Next year is the final year of the collective bargaining agreement, which covers the years 2012-2016. The CBA called for minimum salaries of $480,000 in 2012, $490,000 in 2013, $500,000 in 2014, then cost of living increases in both 2015 and 2016. The cost of living adjustment is rounded to the nearest $500, with the caveat that the minimum salary shall not decrease. Per the CBA:
"The applicable minimum salary rate for the 2014 season shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (CPIW) for October 2015 and the denominator of which is the CPIW for October 2014."
The cost of living adjustment last year called for a 1.5-percent increase, to $507,500 in 2015.
For 2016, we need two numbers — the CPI-W for October 2014 was 233.229 (on a scale where 1982-84 is 100); and the CPI-W for October 2015, released on Tuesday morning is 232.373.
$507,500 x 232.373/233.229 = $505,637
That's a lower number, so the minimum salary will just remain the same in 2016.
There are a couple other items affected by Tuesday's CPI-W release.
Minor league minimum salaries
This is for players on the 40-man roster, for when they are in the minors. Players off the 40-man roster get paid at archaic rates that are comically low, so much so that a lawsuit in the works could reach class action status.
For players on their first major league contract (first time on a 40-man roster), for example likely Jharel Cotton and Ross Stripling in 2016 for instance, the minimum salary when in the minors remains at $41,400.
For players on their second major league contract, and every one thereafter, the minimum salary when in the minors is $82,700.
Players on the major league active roster receive a daily meal and tip allowance for every day the team is on the road, plus travel days. In 2015 the daily allowance was $100.50. The CBA called for a per diem in 2012 of $92.50, which is used as the minimum for the entirety of the agreement, which means the 2016 daily allowance can decrease, just not below $92.50.
$100.50 x 232.373/233.229 = $100.13
Rounded to the nearest $0.50, the 2016 daily allowance will be $100.00
Players get a weekly allowance plus daily meal and tip money, with 2012 serving as the minimum for the entire CBA. The weekly allowance in 2012 was $291.50, and in 2015 was $317.50.
In 2016, the base weekly allowance will be $317.50 x 232.373/233.229 = $316.33, or rounded, $316.50.
The spring training daily meal money was $82.50 in 2012, and $89.50 in 2015.
In 2016, the spring daily meal and tip allowance will be $82.50 x 232.373/233.229 = $89.17, or rounded, $89.00.