BOSTON (AP) -- Baseball's average salary broke the $2 million barrier for the first time this season, and the New York Yankees led the major leagues with an average of nearly $4 million.
The final average salary of a major league player in 2001 was $2,138,896, according to final figures released Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
That was up 12.8 percent from last year's average of $1,895,630 -- the lowest rate of increase since 1998. Still, baseball passed the $2 million mark just nine years after reaching the $1 million. In the last season before free agency, 25 years ago, the average was $51,501.
The Yankees, who won their fourth straight American League pennant but failed to win the World Series for the first time since 1997, paid an average of $3,930,334 to the 31 players on their Aug. 31 roster and disabled list.
Seven of the eight playoff teams were among the top 12 in average salary. The exception was the Oakland Athletics, 23rd among the 30 teams at $1,310,084.
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