Despite being the face of a franchise and the one tasked with shouldering the burden for anything that’s not working on the field, MLB managers have famously received comparatively little compensation compared to their major league peers. 

Most don’t make the on-field calls, but in baseball, the finger invariably gets pointed at the manager ahead of the coach for not building the team well enough, for example. 

This isn’t to say that they don’t get paid well, but it wasn’t until recently that a team deemed a manager worthy of breaking a 15-year record annual salary. 

So, how much do MLB managers make in the modern game?

What’s the Average Salary for MLB Managers?

As with most major league sports, teams don’t have to and don’t tend to reveal the salaries of their front office staff members, but we do have a potential idea for the range. 

At the top end is between $8 million and $8.25 million. Towards the low end, some reports have listed an approximate average salary of $800,000 per year. 

Split the difference, and you get a middle-ground average MLB manager salary of $3.725 million, but even that seems high. Some more seemingly accurate estimates put the average in the $1.2 million to $1.6 million range.

Dave Roberts, the winningest manager in Los Angeles Dodgers franchise history and a World Series in 2020, is reportedly on $3.25 million

Brian Snikter pulled in $1.2 million when his Atlanta Braves won the World Series in 2021. Whether he got a significant pay bump when he signed an extension to 2025 hasn’t been reported. 

Roberts is also signed through 2025 following an extension, but if he makes good on the Dodgers’ favourites tag at +600 in the betting, he may end up demanding a much, much bigger salary. 

Who is the Highest-Paid MLB Manager?

In 2007, Joe Torre got $7.5 million from the New York Yankees, and it took until November 2023 for Craig Counsell to set a new record, signing a deal worth $8.3 million per season. 

Pried away from the Milwaukee Brewers just after his team won the NL Central, Counsell is now with the Chicago Cubs – the playoffs-missing second-placed team of the same division.

Making these figures public – although, they were supposedly leaked before the official announcement – will only help to increase the salaries for MLB managers.

After all, the Cubs are a long shot for winning the World Series in Counsell’s first campaign, being given MLB odds of +3000. If the next winning team has a manager on an expiring contract, they could seek a much larger pay packet.

How Much Do MLB Managers Compared to Other Major League Head Coaches?

On the November 28, 2023 update of the highest-paid coaches in US sports by Sportico, the big shiny new contract of Craig Counsell merely ranks 33rd overall.

Above Counsell are 15 NCAA – two of which are NCAAB – coaches, six NBA coaches, and 12 NFL head coaches, with Bill Belichick topping the total list by earning up to $25 million each year from the New England Patriots. 

As for averages, NFL head coaches roughly average $6.6 million, NBA coaches are a fair bit behind that at around $3.5 million, and in the NHL, the average falls to $2.6 million. The MLB average is perhaps a bit above half of the NHL.

In the MLB, the average salary for managers isn’t known, but it theoretically lies in the $1.5 million region, while the contract of Craig Counsell sets a new bar at up to $8.3 million per year.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to Alamy*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.