The Dodgers' 2014 Payroll is $235 Million, Passes Yankees for Highest in Baseball

By Mike Cardillo

Don’t expect the Dodgers to relinquish the title any time either, thanks in part to new ownership and their massive, billion-dollar cable deal. Also consider: this year the Dodgers are only paying reigning National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw $4 million — that figure skyrockets to $30 million in 2015 thanks to the huge extension he signed in the winter.

The top-heavy Dodgers payroll is staggering. Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke and Carl Crawford each collect more than $20 million this season. At roughly $26 million, Greinke is now the game highest-paid player. Hanley Ramirez, Josh Beckett and Andre Either each make over $15 million. Even Chad Billingsley is on the books in Chavez Ravine for $12 million.

Although the Yankees spent almost half a billion in free agent contracts this winner on Masahiro Tanaka, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, they’re only on the hook for $3.8 of Alex Rodriguez’s $25 million salary due to his season-long suspension. It could be interesting to watch if the Yankees and Dodgers get into a bidding war for shortstop Ramirez, who would be a big-money replacement for Derek Jeter.

Philadelphia checked in with the third-highest payroll at $180 million. Given that the Phillies are in the midst of a disastrous spring and have one of the oldest rosters in baseball, it probably won’t go down as money well spent.

If you’re curious — surprise — the lowly Astros own the lowest payroll in baseball at $45 million. It’s actually a significant improvement for Houston, which began the 2013 season with only $27 million in salary on the books. The additions of veteran like Scott Feldman, Jesse Crain, Dexter Fowler and Chad Qualls helped push the Astros number higher.

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