As the average salary in Major League Baseball finished over $3 million for the first time in 2010, the Phillies jumped from having the eighth highest payroll in 2009 to second at $5,662,551.
The New York Yankees had the highest final average at $7,604,937, down slightly from the $7,663,351 tally when they won the World Series over the Phils in 2009.
The 912 players in the big leagues before rosters expanded in September averaged $3,014,572, the Major League Baseball Players Association said Monday. The average rose 0.6 percent from last year's $2,996,106, the smallest increase since a 2.5 percent drop in 2004.
The union's opening-day average first reached $3 million in 2007, but the average drops during the season as veterans are released and replaced by younger players earning far less. The union's average at the start of this season was $3,340,133.
Boston ($4,821,016) remained third. The Chicago White Sox ($4,580,868) were fourth, followed by the Chicago Cubs ($4,107,304).
Pittsburgh was last for the second straight season at $1,140,598.
Only three of the top seven teams by average salary made the postseason, with the Yankees and Phillies joined by the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, who were seventh at $4,042,950. The AL champion Texas Rangers were 14th at $2,778,920.
Also making the playoffs were No. 10 Atlanta, No. 11 Minnesota, No. 16 Tampa Bay, and No. 19 Cincinnati.
Among regulars at positions, first basemen again had the highest average at $9.5 million, with third basemen ($8.47 million) passing designated hitters ($7.43 million) for second. Second basemen ($4.9 million) were next, trailed by catchers ($4.79 million), outfielders ($4.66 million), shortstops ($4.59 million), starting pitchers ($4.58 million), and relief pitchers ($2.11 million).
The commissioner's office will not determine its final figures for a few weeks. Management's numbers usually differ slightly because of different methods of calculation.
Fergie's stamp of approval. Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins is getting his own stamp for his 68th birthday.
The pitcher watched in Ottawa as Canada Post conducted a run of stamps bearing his image to commemorate Black History month in February.
The only Canadian inducted into Cooperstown, Jenkins compiled a 3.34 ERA and 284-226 record over 19 seasons with the Phillies, Cubs, Rangers, and Red Sox.
The stamp depicts a young Jenkins on the pitcher's mound with the Cubs, set behind a photo of Jenkins on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto in 2001.
New Mets coaches. Ken Oberkfell has been hired as the New York Mets' bench coach under new manager Terry Collins. Mookie Wilson was hired as first-base coach. Dave Hudgens was hired as hitting coach, while Jon Debus becomes bullpen coach.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen and third base coach Chip Hale return from the staff of fired manager Jerry Manuel.
Matsui to A's? Free agent Hideki Matsui and the Oakland Athletics are reported to be near a deal that would make him the team's designated hitter. A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed that the sides were close, speaking on condition of anonymity because there was no announcement.