For the 14th consecutive season the New York Yankees have the highest average… (Jonathan Daniel / Getty…)
Baseball's average salary increased 3.8% this year to a record $3.2 million.
According to final figures released Friday by the Major League Baseball Players Assn., the rise was the steepest since 2007. The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.
The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million, rising after consecutive declines from a peak of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009.
The Dodgers boosted their average from 13th to second at $5.55 million, followed by the Angels ($5.48 million) and AL champion Detroit ($4.95 million). Texas went up from 15th to fifth at $4.89 million.
At $684,940, Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins at $594,722.
The Boston Red Sox and Cubs had their lowest averages since at least 2000. Boston dropped from third to 12th at $3.3 million and the Cubs seventh to 23rd at $2.1 million.
World Series champion San Francisco remained eighth, averaging $4.07 million. AL West champion Oakland was 28th at $1.79 million.
Kansas City rose from last in 2011 to 26th at $2.04 million, and Pittsburgh went up from 27th to 19th at $2.47 million.
The Marlins increased from 19th to 10th after adding free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell but have traded them in the team's latest payroll slashes and will drop next year.
Among regulars at positions, first basemen took over from designated hitters as the highest average at $8.6 million, followed by DHs at $8.1 million. Third base was next at $7.1 million, followed by starting pitchers at $6.1 million, second basemen $4.9 million, outfielders $4.6 million, shortstops $4.2 million, catchers $3.4 million and relief pitchers $1.8 million.
Figures are based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists, with 944 players averaging $3,213,479. Major League Baseball has not yet computed its final averages, which usually differ slightly because of methods of calculation.
Reed Johnson, the top pinch hitter in the National League last season, rejoined the Atlanta Braves on Thursday with a $1.75-million, one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.
Free-agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a $15.5-million, two-year contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said.
Love and Snedeker lead Shootout
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker shot a 10-under 62 on Friday in modified alternate-shot play to take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Naples, Fla.
Love and Snedeker made 10 birdies for the lowest score in the modified alternate-shot format in the 24-year-old tournament's 12 years in Naples. They tied the third-lowest score overall.
Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair were two strokes back on the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort's Tiburon Golf Club.
Australia's Marcus Fraser took a one-stroke lead in the Australia Open in Sydney, shooting his second straight three-under 69 at the Lakes.
Fraser had a six-under 138 total. Fellow Australians Brendan Jones and John Senden were tied for second. Jones had a 71, and Senden, the first-round leader, shot a 73.
South Africa's Charl Schwartzel shot his second straight seven-under 65 to increase his lead to four strokes in the Asian Tour's Thailand Golf Championship at Chon Buri.
Sweden's Daniel Chopra was second after a 67, and Japan's Masanori Kobayashi was another stroke back, also after a 67 at Amata Spring. Masters champion Bubba Watson was six under after a 70, and defending champion Lee Westwood was five under after a 69.
China's Shanshan Feng shot a five-under 67 to take a five-stroke lead into the final round of the Ladies European Tour's Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates.
Feng, the LPGA Championship winner in June, birdied the final three holes at Emirates Golf Club for a tournament-record 18-under 198 total. The Netherlands' Dewi Claire Schreefel was second after a course-record 63.
After an acrimonious ending to their labor talks on Thursday, the NHL and the NHL Players' Assn. did not hold negotiations on Friday, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. Daly also said no additional talks had been scheduled.
The NHL, which locked players out on Sept. 15, has canceled games through Dec. 14 as well as the Winter Classic and All-Star game. The league is expected to announce another round of cancellations soon.
— Helene Elliott
Golden West Swim Club said it has found nothing to support allegations of inappropriate behavior by assistant swim coach William Jewell or evidence of wrongdoing by his boss, famed Olympic swim coach Mark Schubert, according to a letter from the club's president.
The Orange County-based organization hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation after a former employee, Dia Rianda, sued Schubert for wrongful termination in September, alleging Schubert ignored complaints she made regarding sexually inappropriate behavior displayed by Jewell.