The New York Yankees might have a down year in terms of wins this season, but they still have the largest payroll in Major League Baseball

At nearly $229 million, the Yankees top every major league team, from the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers at about $216 million to the last-ranked Houston Astros at about $24 million.

The figures come from a study by the Associated Press, which includes payroll adjusted for trades, signing bonuses and buyouts.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, currently on the disabled list while recuperating from hip surgery, is the highest-paid player in baseball for the 13th consecutive season at $29 million. Rodriguez is among four Yankees players in the top 10. Vernon Wells is fourth at $24.6 million; C.C. Sabathia ranks fifth at $24.3 million, and Mark Teixeira is sixth with a salary of $23.1 million.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee is second to Rodriguez, making $25 million, followed by injured New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana at about $24.6 million.

The Yankees payroll beats the record they set of $209 million in 2008. The club also tops a payroll of $200 million for the sixth straight year and will have to pay a luxury tax for an 11th consecutive season. New York has the major leagues’ highest payroll for a 15th straight year.

With the acquisitions of Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, Brandon League and Zack Greinke since last summer, the Dodgers have become big spenders after ranking 12th at $95 million on Opening Day last season. They increased payroll by $121 million, and are just the second team to reach a payroll of $200 million.

Toronto also jumped up, adding about $43 million to a total of $118 million after trading for Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson from the Miami Marlins; R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets and signing former San Francisco Giants player Melky Cabrera.

With their fire sale, the Marlins went from an Opening Day payroll in 2012 of about $100 million to about $40 million. The Oakland A’s won the AL West Division title last season with baseball’s lowest payroll, and will increase slightly to about $68 million this year.

Rounding out the top 10 players in salary for this season are Minnesota’s Joe Mauer and Detroit’s Prince Fielder at $23 million; the Giants’ Tim Lincecum at about $22.2 million, and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera and the Dodgers’ Gonzalez at $21 million.

MLB 2013 team payrolls:

  1. Yankees, $228,995,945
  2. Dodgers, $216,302,909
  3. Phillies, $159,578,214
  4. Red Sox, $158,967,286
  5. Tigers, $149,046,844
  6. Giants, $142,180,333
  7. Angels, $142,165,250
  8. Rangers, $127,197,575
  9. White Sox, $124,065,277
  10. Blue Jays, $118,244,039
  11. Cardinals, $116,702,085
  12. Nationals, $112,431,770
  13. Reds, $110,565,728
  14. Cubs, $104,150,726
  15. Orioles, $91,793,333
  16. Brewers, $91,003,366
  17. Diamondbacks, $90,158,500
  18. Braves, $89,288,193
  19. Mets, $88,877,033
  20. Mariners, $84,295,952
  21. Indians, $82,517,300
  22. Royals, $80,491,725
  23. Twins, $75,562,500
  24. Rockies, $75,449,071
  25. Padres, $71,689,900
  26. A’s, 68,577,000
  27. Pirates, $66,289,524
  28. Rays, $57,030,272
  29. Marlins, $39,621,900
  30. Astros, $24,328,538

Pujols warms up while Hamilton starts cold: Albert Pujols, who started his first season with the Los Angeles Angels in 2012 without a home run in the first month, hit two homers on Saturday in an 8-4 win at Texas.

Pujols slugged a two-run homer to center field in the first inning and a solo shot in the sixth for his first two round-trippers of the season. His other three at-bats were intentional walks.

Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton, the former Rangers player whom the Angels signed to a $125 million, five-year contract, has had a miserable start. He had just one hit in his first 20 at-bats with 10 strikeouts. In his second game back at Texas on Saturday, Hamilton struck out twice following intentional walks to Pujols. Hamilton got three hits in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Rangers.

Diamond Notes: Chicago Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol is out as closer after giving up two home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday night in a 6-5 loss to Atlanta. The game-tying homer was hit by B.J. Upton, and the game-winner was hit by Upton’s brother, Justin Upton. Marmol made three appearances as the team’s closer in the first week of the season, with an ERA of 27.00. Kyuji Fujikawa will take over as closer…The Dodgers traded pitcher Aaron Harang to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday for catcher Ramon Hernandez. Colorado designated Harang for assignment, looking to trade him…Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is on the disabled list with a sprained left knee. He injured the knee running the bases last Friday…Baltimore’s Chris Davis, last week’s AL Player of the Week, had his four-game homer streak snapped in a 6-5 loss to the Twins on Saturday. He led the majors with 17 RBIs going into Sunday’s game…Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went on the 15-day DL on Sunday with a strained right oblique. Freeman hit .417 with a homer and seven RBIs in the first five games of the season.

Copyright © 2013 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.


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