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Yankees spent record $218.3 million on '07 payroll

NEW YORK -- The Yankees did finish first in something last
year -- spending.

While their streak of AL East titles ended at nine, the Yankees
wound up with a record payroll of $218.3 million.

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox were a distant second
at $155.4 million, according to information received by clubs from
the commissioner's office. The Los Angeles Dodgers were third at
$125.6 million, followed by the New York Mets ($120.9 million),
Chicago Cubs ($115.9 million), Seattle ($114.4 million), Los
Angeles Angels ($111 million), Philadelphia ($101.8 million), San
Francisco ($101.5 million) and the Chicago White Sox ($100.2
million).

In addition to the largest payroll, the Yankees have the highest
revenue in the majors. New York took in $415 million last year,
giving about $100 million of it away in the sport's revenue-sharing
plan.

Both the Yankees and New York Mets will receive revenue boosts
in 2009, when they move into new stadiums.

"We're always working on increasing revenues, but it's getting
harder and harder to do," Red Sox owner John Henry said in an
e-mail to The Associated Press. "The Yankees and the Mets will be
greatly helped by their new ballparks which look to be
state-of-the-art. They seem very well designed to maximize revenues
and to greatly improve the fan experience. The renovations we have
been at work on within Fenway, the new ballparks in New York,
Washington, Minneapolis -- everywhere -- these are great for
baseball."

At the back end were Tampa Bay ($31.8 million), Florida ($33.1
million), Washington ($43.3 million) and Pittsburgh ($51.4
million).

In all, teams spent $2.71 billion on players last year, up from
$2.49 billion in 2006 and $2.35 billion in 2005.

The 30 clubs estimate they took in $6.075 billion last year, an
increase from $5.2 billion the previous season and $4.7 billion in
2005.

New York has had the highest payroll for nine straight years.
The Yankees' total rose from $207.5 million in 2006 and $206.6
million in 2005.

The Yankees were set to fall under the $200 million mark before
signing Roger Clemens, who increased their payroll by $17.4
million. He went 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 18 appearances.

New York is on track to lead the major leagues in payroll again
but its total appears likely to drop. The Yankees have committed
$198.6 million to 19 signed players on their 40-man roster. Adding
in the midpoints for their three players remaining in arbitration --
Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Brian Bruney -- the total
increases to $207.6 million.

Payroll figures are for 40-man rosters and include salaries and
prorated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses,
non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash
transactions. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred
are discounted to reflect present-day values.