NEW YORK (AP) - Spending on Major League Baseball payrolls dropped last season for the first time since 2010, a decline attributable to drug and domestic violence suspensions and a player retiring at midseason.
That's according to figures compiled by the commissioner's office and obtained by The Associated Press.
Even a year with flat payrolls is unusual. The only previous drops since 2002 were by $3 million in 2010 and by $32 million in 2004.
Teams combined to spend $4.23 billion on major league payroll last year, down $18 million.
World Series champion Boston had the highest payroll for the first time since the free-agent era started in 1976 at $230 million. A record 24 teams had $100 million payrolls, and the Red Sox figure was the lowest for the top payroll since 2012.