Oakland, unhappy it hasn't been able to get permission from MLB to build a ballpark in San Jose, has the lowest payroll at just under $53 million, according to the AP study. While Pittsburgh hiked up to $63 million after its MLB-record 19th straight losing season, the Pirates are getting $11.5 million of that back from the Yankees as part of the A.J. Burnett trade.
The Yankees, who have reached the postseason in 16 of the last 17 years, reached $200 million not even including the money they are paying Pittsburgh to take Burnett off their hands. Or the $2.5 million owed Andy Pettitte once he's added to their roster.
After the Yankees there's a drop to the Phillies at $174 million and the Red Sox at $173 million, followed by the Angels at $155 million and the Tigers at $132 million.
"We're always going to have a gap between the economic realities of a New York or an LA versus a Pittsburgh. What is important for us in Pittsburgh is that we never use that as an excuse," Pirates owner Bob Nutting said. "We need to be very efficient in the way we allocate and maximize any efficiencies we have, and never ever use the economic system as an excuse. We walk in every day believing we can create a winning team within this economic system and we're going to."
A-Rod was followed on the money list by the Angels' Vernon Wells at $24.6 million, followed by Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia ($24.3 million), returning Mets ace Johan Santana ($23.15 million) and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira ($23.13 million). Fielder's deal with Detroit placed him in a tie for sixth with Minnesota's Joe Mauer at $23 million.
The AP's figures include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses and other guaranteed income. For some players, parts of deferred signing bonuses and salaries are discounted to reflect current values.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writers Mike Fitzpatrick, Will Graves, Joe Kay, Andrew Seligman, Noah Trister and Steven Wine contributed to this report.
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