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).
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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).