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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Friday, April 1, 2011

The Kansas City Royals are barely making more than Alex Rodriguez this year.

The salaries for Kansas City's 27 players on its Opening Day roster and disabled lists total $36.1 million, according to an analysis of major league contracts by The Associated Press. A-Rod makes $32 million atop the New York Yankees' $201.7 million payroll. He is baseball's highest-paid player for the 11th straight year.

The Pirates' payroll went up from a major league-low $35 million in 2010 to 27th at $46 million.

Overall, baseball salaries were nearly flat for this season, which started Thursday. The average salary for the 844 players on Opening Day rosters and disabled lists was about $3.3 million, up just 0.2 percent from last year. The increase was the lowest since a 2.7 percent drop in 2004.

Kansas City's payroll was cut in half from $72.3 million at the start of 2010. The Royals traded Zack Greinke, and Gil Meche retired.

"I'm not worried that it's too low," general manager Dayton Moore said. "I look at it as something that gives us tremendous flexibility going forward as an organization to be competitive as we negotiate for players."

The Yankees, as usual, had the top payroll but dropped to $201.7 million from $206.3 million at the start of last season. Philadelphia was second at $173 million following the offseason signing of Cliff Lee. The Phillies began last year fourth at $141.9 million but have been given a financial boost by 123 consecutive home sellouts during the regular season.

Boston is third on the list at $161.4 million, followed by the Los Angeles Angels ($139 million), Chicago White Sox ($129.3 million), Chicago Cubs ($125.5 million) and New York Mets ($120 million). The totals don't include salaries owed released players — such as Carlos Silva ($11.5 million for the Cubs) and Oliver Perez ($12 million) and Luis Castillo ($6.25 million for the Mets).

The World Series champion San Francisco Giants are eighth at $118.2 million, up from $97.8 million. The AL champion Texas Rangers rose to 13th at $92.3 million from $55.3 million.

There were 453 players — nearly 54 percent of those in the major leagues — making $1 million or more. That was up from 433 at the start of last season.

By the numbers

The Pirates' Opening Day roster and the players' salaries, which are up from a major league low $35 million last season to $46 million this year:

SP Paul Maholm: $6,250,000

x-C Chris Snyder: 6,250,000

C Ryan Doumit: 5,200,000

1B Lyle Overbay: 5,000,000

SP Kevin Correia: 4,000,000

OF Matt Diaz: 2,125,000

3B Pedro Alvarez: 2,050,000

SP Ross Ohlendorf: 2,025,000

SS Ronny Cedeno: 1,850,000

RP Joel Hanrahan: 1,400,000

RP Jeff Karstens: 1,100,000

RP Jose Veras: 1,000,000

RP Evan Meek: 461,500

OF Garrett Jones: 455,500

OF Andrew McCutchen: 452,500

x-SP Scott Olsen: 450,000

SP James McDonald: 443,000

OF John Bowker: 441,500

SP Charlie Morton: 441,000

2B Neil Walker: 437,000

RP Chris Resop: 431,500

RP Garrett Olson: 430,000

OF Jose Tabata: 428,000

1B Steve Pearce: 427,500

C Jason Jaramillo: 422,500

x-SP Kevin Hart: 417,000

x-RP Jose Ascanio: 416,000

x-SP Brad Lincoln: 414,500

RP Michael Crotta: 414,000

SS Josh Rodriguez: 414,000

x-on disabled list

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