With the signing of Zack Greinke, it appears as though the Yankees will not have the highest payroll in Major League Baseball for the first time since 1998.
Greinke agreed to a contract of 6 years and $147 million, an average annual value of $24.5 million, which makes him the highest paid pitcher in MLB (Sabathia makes $24.4 million, according to his contract's AAV). That gives the Dodgers four players making $20 million or more per season (according to AAV), as Zack joins Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Matt Kemp (the Phillies are the only other team with that many players making $20 million or more).
Unless the Yankees switch gears and start making some big moves, their payroll is sure to fall under the approximate $220 million payroll Los Angeles is looking at. It would be nice if that would get some people off the Yankees back when it comes to the "trying to buy championships" thing, but I doubt it. Hopefully this news gives the Yankee front office a swift kick in the rear end, and they started to realize that the money saved for getting under a payroll of $189 million by 2014 won't make up for the lost revenue from fielding a championship caliber team.