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Sox drop to 4th in payroll

Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff  April 1, 2008 04:36 PM

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For the first time since 2003, the Red Sox will not start the season with the second-highest payroll in the majors.

Figures obtained by the Associated Press indicated that the Red Sox opened the season with a payroll of $133,440,037 (click here for a player-by-player breakdown), which is down $10 million from their Opening Day payroll last season and ranks as the fourth-highest in the majors. Not surprisingly, the Yankees lead the way with just over $209 million.

In every season since 2004, the Red Sox had placed second behind the Yankees in total payroll. This year, they're behind the Yankees, Tigers, and Mets. The Sox spent $143 million last season, and averaged about $123 million per year from 2004-06. Courtesy of USA Today's salaries database, here's a list of total Sox payroll from 1988 ($15 million!) to 2007.

With a roster of mostly the same players from the 2007 season, you might be wondering why the 2008 Sox payroll is less than last year's. In 2007, the team paid more than $15 million combined for Matt Clement (who never threw a pitch last season) and backup Eric Hinske, neither of whom are on this year's roster.

Figures were obtained by The Associated Press from management and player sources and include salaries and pro-rated shares of signing bonuses. In some cases, parts of salaries deferred without interest are discounted to reflect present-day values.

N.Y. Yankees -- $209,081,579
Detroit -- 138,685,197
New York Mets -- 138,293,378
Boston -- 133,440,037
Chicago White Sox -- 121,152,667
Los Angeles Angels -- 119,216,333
Chicago Cubs -- 118,595,833
Los Angeles Dodgers -- 118,536,038
Seattle -- 117,993,982
Atlanta -- 102,424,018
St. Louis -- 100,624,450
Toronto -- 98,641,957
Philadelphia -- 98,269,881
Houston -- 88,930,415
Milwaukee -- 81,004,167
Cleveland -- 78,970,067
San Francisco -- 76,904,500
Cincinnati -- 74,277,695
San Diego -- 73,677,617
Colorado -- 68,655,500
Texas -- 68,239,551
Baltimore -- 67,196,248
Arizona -- 66,202,713
Minnesota -- 62,182,767
Kansas City -- 58,245,500
Washington -- 54,961,000
Pittsburgh -- 49,365,283
Oakland -- 47,967,126
Tampa Bay -- 43,820,598
Florida -- 21,836,500

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