Royals enter A-Rod territory
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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