The Yankees were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250 million mark since the penalty began in 2003.
According to Major League Baseball calculations sent to teams Tuesday, the Dodgers were the only other team that exceeded the threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million. Boston finished just under for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy of the $178 million mark.
The Phillies' 2013 payroll was $168,569,538, fourth-highest in the majors. Houston's payroll, $29.3 million, was lowest, less than one-eighth that of the Yankees.
Stuck in customs. Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wants to pitch in the States next year, but his Japanese team doesn't want to let him go. Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Rakuten Golden Eagles during the regular season. He will not become eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season and can move to MLB only if the Eagles agree.
Yanks get older. Second baseman Brian Roberts and the Yankees have agreed on a one-year deal worth about $2 million. Roberts, 36, has played his entire 13-year career with the Orioles. He played in 77 games last season, batting .249 with eight homers.
Balfour to Baltimore. The Orioles agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with former Athletics closer Grant Balfour. Balfour fills the vacancy left by the trade of closer Jim Johnson, who was dealt to Oakland because Baltimore didn't want to pay him about $10 million a season.