Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers have knocked Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees off baseball's payroll perch, part of an offseason spending spree that has the average salary approaching $4 million for the first time.

The Dodgers are ending the Yankees' 15-year streak as baseball's biggest spenders and as of Tuesday had a projected payroll of $235 million, according to study of all major league contracts by The Associated Press.

New York, which last failed to top the payroll rankings in 1998, was a distant second at $204 million. After that, it was another huge gap to Philadelphia at $180 million, followed by Boston at $163 million and Detroit at $162 million.

The Giants rank seventh, a $154 million. The A's projected at $83 million, the sixth-lowest in baseball.

Houston is last at $45 million, up from $27 million at the start of last year, and Miami at $48 million remains 29th.

Rodriguez, who holds the record for the largest deal in baseball history at $275 million over 10 years, is suspended for the season for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract. Because of the ban, he will earn only $3,868,852 of his $25 million salary -- 21 days pay for the 183-day season.

Greinke would have become the highest-paid player, even if Rodriguez was getting all his cash. The pitcher has a $24 million salary in the second season of his $147 million, six-year contract, and because he can opt out of the deal after the 2015 season, baseball's accounting rules call for his $12 million signing bonus to be prorated over the first three seasons.


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As of Tuesday, the average salary projected to be between $3.95 million and $4 million. That translates to a rise of 8 to 10 percent from last year's opening average of $3.65 million and would be the largest increase since 2006 or possibly even 2001.

  • Yu Darvish will miss his scheduled start in Monday's season opener because of neck stiffness, leaving the already injury-riddled Texas Rangers without their ace. The Rangers didn't immediately say who would replace Darvish as the starter.

    The Rangers also announced that former World Series and All-Star closer Neftali Feliz was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. The right-hander allowed 13 hits and five runs in nine spring training games.

    Miscellany

    Navy football player Will McKamey, who has been hospitalized since collapsing at practice on Saturday, has died while in a coma. He was 19. The academy says the freshman running back from Knoxville, Tenn., died with his family by his side.

    Earlier this week, McKamey's family said in a statement released through the school that their son did not sustain "a bad hit or unusual or extreme contact."

    McKamey was hospitalized in 2012 with a brain injury but was cleared to play after seeing four neurosurgeons and undergoing several CAT scans and MRIs, his family said. He did not play in a game last season.

  • Actor Jim Nabors says this year's Indianapolis 500 will be the last time he performs "Back Home Again in Indiana" live to a global audience of race fans. The 83-year-old Nabors says his health limits his travels from his home in Hawaii, so he'll be "retiring" from singing the ode at the Indianapolis 500 after the May 25 race.