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MLB Executive Tony Clark Salary Estimated Over $4.5 Million in 2023

Tony Clark (Via MLB)

Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) executive director Tony Clark received over $4.25 million in compensation in 2023, which included a $3.25 million salary and a $1 million bonus, nearly doubling his total compensation from the previous year, according to a union financial report released on Monday.

The revelation of Clark’s salary, which was $2.25 million in 2022, follows an internal upheaval within the union. Attorney Harry Marino had attempted to rally support from players to replace the union’s deputy executive director, Bruce Meyer.

While Marino’s efforts to oust Meyer did not succeed, his call for an internal audit of union finances gained significant support among player leadership.

Clark’s salary is comparable to his counterparts who lead major sports unions. Former NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith earned $4.5 million in 2021 and $2.72 million in 2022.

Former NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio received $3.1 million in her final year. NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh reportedly has a salary of $3 million, while his predecessor, Donald Fehr, made $3.5 million annually.

Tony Clark (Via MLB)

In his first full year as executive director in 2014, Clark’s salary was $1,993,525, according to the MLBPA’s LM-2, an annual filing detailing union spending. This was nearly double that of his predecessor, Michael Weiner, who passed away in November 2013.

Weiner and the previous executive director, Donald Fehr, had capped their salaries at $1 million since the 1990s. Clark is expected to receive incremental increases in his salary through the remainder of his contract, which runs until 2027.

The union’s revenues have significantly increased since Clark’s appointment. In 2014, the MLBPA’s total receipts were $64.7 million, according to the LM-2.

Last year, this number rose to $191.8 million. The largest payments in 2023 included $49.6 million from Topps, $44 million from Fanatics, $28.6 million from OneTeam Partners, and $10.2 million from Panini.

MLBPA spending on employee salaries has also risen in recent years. In 2021, employees received $11.9 million, which increased to $15.4 million in 2022, and $16.6 million last year.

Marino, who played a key role in organizing minor league players and integrating them into the MLBPA, worked for the union for less than a year before leaving due to conflicts with top union officials.

In a letter to players, advocating for new leadership at the MLBPA, Marino said he would “trim the waste and excess” of the union’s spending, stating, “Our job is to make you rich, not the other way around.”

Tony Clark (Via MLB)

Two weeks ago, during a call with members of the MLBPA’s 68-player executive board, players discussed various issues, including Meyer’s suitability for his role and the lack of communication from union officials.

Multiple player leaders expressed surprise that the union had given Clark a five-year contract extension in November 2022.

Clark’s contract extension followed a 99-day lockout by MLB of the players, covering most of the 2021-22 offseason.

The first year of the new deal saw players receiving $3.9 billion in guaranteed money during a lucrative winter, but free agent spending lagged in some areas this offseason, leading player leaders to question Clark and Meyer’s leadership.

The dispute calmed about a week after Marino informed Clark that he had significant player support to become the new deputy executive director.

While minor league players continued to support him, major league player support diminished, and the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee—comprised of eight elected players—eventually disavowed the efforts after initially backing Marino.

However, multiple player representatives told they still intend to call for an audit of the union’s finances, hoping it will start soon.

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