The World Series champion New York Yankees were hit with a luxury tax of nearly $25.69 million yesterday, according to information received by clubs and obtained by the Associated Press.
New York is the only team to pay a tax for this season and has crossed the threshold in all seven years since the tax started.
The Yankees have been billed $174 million of the tax's $190 million total since 2003. The only other teams to pay have been Boston ($13.9 million for 2004-07), Detroit ($1.3 million for 2008), and the Los Angeles Angels ($927,059 for 2004).
New York's payroll was $226.2 million for the purpose of the luxury tax, and the Yankees will pay at a 40 percent rate for the amount over $162 million.
The Phillies' payroll was $138.3 million.
Free-agent righthander Jason Marquis and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a two-year contract, pending a physical, two people familiar with the deal told the Associated Press. Marquis went 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA for Colorado in 2009.
Major League Baseball and its umpires are nearing agreement on a new contract, two people familiar with the negotiations said.
Recent deals between baseball and its umpires have run for five years.
In September 1999, 22 umpires lost their jobs as part of a failed mass resignation ahead of bargaining. Half of them were eventually rehired.
Elsewhere: The San Diego Padres acquired catcher Dusty Ryan from the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named or cash.. . . The Cleveland Indians picked up righthander Mitch Talbot from Tampa Bay, completing the Dec. 1 trade that sent catcher Kelly Shoppach to the Rays.
HORSE RACING: The New York Racing Association says it Is facing a cash crunch that could threaten the Belmont Stakes and thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown because the state government has not approved video slot machines at the Aqueduct racetrack.
NYRA President Charlie Hayward said unless state lawmakers agree to set up video slots there soon, the NYRA may need another $30 million state bailout to save the racing season at Belmont, which includes the Triple Crown's storied final leg.
SOCCER: Landon Donovan has been named the U.S. Soccer Federation's male athlete of the year for the third time. Hope Solo became the first goalkeeper to win the women's award.
Lionel Messi of Argentina was named FIFA's world player of the year after his FC Barcelona club won the Spanish league and cup and the Champions League titles.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: North Carolina State suspended its leading scorer, Tracy Smith, for one game for complaining about the officiating in the Wolfpack's 67-59 loss to Wake Forest on Sunday.
Villanova's Laura Sweeney is the Big Five's women's player of the week.