It wasn’t that long ago when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were involved in a fierce American League rivalry.

The two teams, and their fans, had little love for one another. The days of Yankees-Red Sox hostility may have gone the way of the outdoor telephone booth. Both are distant memories. In fact, the Red Sox payroll is the only one to be in decline among the five American League East teams.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MARCH 30: Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees jogs to the dugout before the game … [+]

That’s a significant fact. lists the player payrolls for all Major League Baseball teams.

The Yankees are listed with a 2024 player payroll of $306,152,658, or an increase of close to $24 million from the 2023 season.

In contrast, the Red Sox are listed to have a player payroll of $177,716.975. The payroll represents a decline in payroll of around $5.1 million.

Last season, the Baltimore Orioles won the AL East with a fantastic 101-61 season.

The Yankees had a miserable year, finishing just above .500, at 82-80.

The Red Sox staggered to a dismal 78-84, .481 winning percentage. That placed them last in the division, 23 games behind the Orioles.

The Yankees won the division in 2022, compiling a 99-63 record.

The Red Sox finished last in 2022, with their 78-84 record being the same as last year.

The Red Sox were most recently competitive in the American League East in 2021, when they finished in third place.

That season, the Red Sox record was 92-70, a respectable finish, only 8 games behind the division winning Tampa Bay Rays.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MARCH 28: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees takes batting practice before the … [+]

Player Payroll Picture:

Player payroll is clearly not the be-all, and end-all in a team’s success.

It does, however, paint a snapshot of the number of impact players on a team’s roster.

There is little question the Red Sox are lacking in game-changing, impactful position players.

The Red Sox are off to a nice start this season, as they sit at 7-3 after the first 10 games.

The Yankees have begun the season with a record of 9-2.

There is little doubt the Yankees have game-changing, impactful positions players.

The divide between the Yankees and Red Sox on-field performances has taken the competitive luster off the rivalry.

Today, as the 2024 season continues to unfold, it appears the differences in the directions of the Yankees and Red Sox couldn’t be more massive.

The Yankees payroll is increasing.

The Red Sox payroll is declining.

Here are the other AL East payrolls:

Toronto Blue Jays-$227,166,660, or up about $12.5 million.

Baltimore Orioles-$100,476,440, or up around $29 million.

Tampa Bay Rays-$98,523,712, or up $19 million.

While the Rays and Blue Jays payrolls remain woefully low, the increases are notable. In addition, both those teams have young, first and second year players in their starting lineups who are far from their expensive arbitration/and or free agent years.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MARCH 28: Austin Wells #88 of the New York Yankees looks on before the Opening Day … [+] lists a Yankees starting lineup with four players age 25, or under, including Juan Soto (25) Anthony Volpe (22) Austin Wells (25) and Oswaldo Cabrera (25)

The Red Sox starting lineup has three players age 25, or under, including Triston Casas (24) Ceddanne Rafaela (23) and Emmanuel Valdez (25) shows the Yankees to be roughly $9 million over the top tier of the four MLB Luxury Tax thresholds. The top tier is $297 million.

Unless the team reduces payroll between now and the end of the season, the Yankees will be paying a hefty luxury tax.

The Red Sox payroll is roughly a bit more than $60 million under the first tier of the luxury tax, which is $237 million.

The Yankees payroll includes five players making over $27 million this year. They include:

Aaron Judge-$40 million

Gerrit Cole-$36 million

Giancarlo Stanton-$32 million

Juan Soto-$31 million

Carlos Rodon-$27,833,333

All but Soto, who can become a free agent following the World Series, are on multiple year, very expensive contracts.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – MARCH 25: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox takes batting practice before … [+]

The Red Sox payroll includes one player with a contract that exceed $27 million this year.

That player is Rafael Devers, who is earning $29.5 million.

The Red Sox have three additional players earning over $18 million. They include:

Trevor Story-$22.5 million

Lucas Giolito-$18 million (currently injured, and out for the season)

Masataka Yoshida-$18 million

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MARCH 28: Triston Casas #36 of the Boston Red Sox reacts as he takes batting … [+] lists the average age of every MLB team. Here are the average ages of the American League East teams:

Toronto Blue Jays-30

New York Yankees-28.8

Baltimore Orioles-28.6

Tampa Bay Rays-28.4

Boston Red Sox-28.2

In short, the average ages of the clubs in the AL East are not that dissimilar.

The Cleveland Guardians are the youngest MLB team, with an average age of 27.0

While team payroll does offer a glance at the direction of a club, it should be alarming to Red Sox fans that their long-time rivals, the New York Yankees continue to add payroll and star quality players.

It should also be alarming to Red Sox fans that their team has declined to add payroll, and has declined to pursue major impactful free agent players to enhance their chances in the American League East.

Especially against the New York Yankees.