The Red Sox again have the highest payroll in baseball at just less than $222 million, according to the Associated Press study of major league salaries, but their payroll has actually gone down as has the average major league salary.
The Sox' payroll last season was a major league-high $223 million and ended a four-year run at No. 1 for the team they defeated in the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Boston's payroll for 2019 is the lowest top payroll on Opening Day since 2012, according to the AP.
The Cubs are No. 2 this year at $209 million, followed by the New York Yankees ($207M), the Dodgers ($191M), the Washington Nationals ($185M) and the San Francisco Giants ($176M)
The bottom five: Oakland A's ($88M), Baltimore Orioles ($78M), Pittsburgh Pirates ($77M), Miami Marlins ($71M million) and Tampa Bay Rays ($61M).
For the second year in a row, the average salary has dropped. It's at $4.36M, down from $4.41M last year and $4.45M in 2017. The drop is reflected in slow markets the past two winters that despite record deals for stars Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado this offseason, saw many veterans settling for cheaper contracts.
Pitchers are the five highest-paid players in annual salary: The Washington Nationals' Max Scherzer is first at $37.4M, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke ($32.4M), the Red Sox' David Price and Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw ($31M each) and the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg ($30.7M).
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