ARLINGTON (AP) – The rest of baseball is starting to catch up with the big spenders.

According to a study of major league contracts by The Associated Press, the Marlins, Tigers, Rangers and Angels all had big boosts in payroll during the offseason along with the Rays and Royals.

Some traditional high rollers had huge drops, including the Mets, Cubs and White Sox.

The Yankees, of course, remain the cash king. They topped $200 million on opening day for the fifth consecutive year. And at $30 million, the Yanks’ Alex Rodriguez remains the richest of the richest, baseball’s highest-paid player for the 12th straight season.

The big league average salary rose 4.1 percent to $3.44 million, the steepest hike since 2008.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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