SBD/April 5, 2012/MLB Season Preview

Yankees Again Top MLB Payrolls; More Players Eclipsing $20M Barrier

A record 14 MLB players will earn at least $20M this season, "more than double from two years," according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. While MLB's "average salary increased" 4% to $3.4M, it is "getting crowded at the top of the pay scale, a trend that will continue." Nineteen player next season will earn at least $20M, and 26 players "will eclipse the barrier in future years." Six players last year earned at least $20M. Meanwhile, the Yankees enter the '12 season with a payroll of $197.9M, their lowest since '07. However, they still have the "highest payroll" in MLB for the 14th consecutive year (USA TODAY, 4/5).

TEAM
TOTAL PAYROLL
TEAM
TOTAL PAYROLL
Yankees
$197,962,289
Braves
$83,309,942
Phillies
$174,538,938
Reds
$82,203,616
Red Sox
$173,186,617
Mariners
$81,978,100
Angels
$154,485,166
Orioles
$81,428,999
Tigers
$132,300,000
Nationals
$81,336,143
Rangers
$120,510,974
Indians
$78,430,300
Marlins
$118,078,000
Rockies
$78,069,571
Giants
$117,620,683
Blue Jays
$75,489,200
Cardinals
$110,300,862
D'Backs
$74,284,833
Brewers
$97,653,944
Rays
$64,173,500
White Sox
$96,919,500
Pirates
$63,431,999
Dodgers
$95,143,575
Royals
$60,916,225
Twins
$94,085,000
Astros
$60,651,000
Mets
$93,353,983
A's
$55,372,500
Cubs
$88,197,033
Padres
$55,244,700
       

ON THE THRESHOLD: In Philadelphia, David Murphy notes the Phillies will "once again enter a season on the verge of the luxury-tax threshold." The Phillies are "so close that we probably will not know until the end of the year whether they have eclipsed it." The club currently has a "projected official payroll" of about $170.63M, but only $166.57M of that is "in the form of guaranteed contracts." The luxury-tax threshold is $178M, but "each team is charged" about $10M for player benefits. That leaves the Phillies "actually sitting at about" $180.63M right now (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/5).
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