Monday April 6th, 2015

The Los Angeles Dodgers have set a major league record with their $270 million Opening Day payroll, according to calculations by the Associated Press and USA Today.

MLB player salaries also reached a new high, with the average major leaguer making $4.2 million, up 15 percent over the past two seasons. By comparison NBA players make an average of $5 million, NHL players make an average of $2.58 million and NFL players made an average of $2.016 million for the 2014 season.  

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The Dodgers’ record-setting payroll includes the team paying $43.8 million this season to players who aren’t even on their roster.

They will pay $18 million of Matt Kemp's $21 million salary after he was traded to the San Diego Padres, while $12.5 million is going to the Miami Marlins to cover salaries for pitcher Dan Haren and second baseman Dee Gordon. A total of $13 million will be paid to released pitchers Brian Wilson, Dustin McGowan and Chad Billingsley.

"It's a different world,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said to USA Today. "But I don't ever really think about payroll numbers other than using them in the abstract to shape a roster. I don't think about it as real dollars' worth in the roster construction process. It is what it is, and we operate within the parameters that we're given.”

CORCORAN: Guide to the biggest Opening Day feast in baseball history

The New York Yankees are second on the MLB payroll list at $219 million, followed by the Boston Red Sox ($175 million), San Francisco Giants ($173.2 million) and Detroit Tigers ($172.8 million). The Houston Astros and ($69.1 million) and Marlins ($69.2 million) have baseball’s lowest payroll.

A record 508 players will make $1 million or more this season, led by Dodgers pitcher and National League MVP and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, who will take home $31 million. Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is set to make $28 million, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke will be paid $27 million and injured Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will make $25.4 million.

- Scooby Axson

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