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AP exclusive: Dodgers taxed $32M, league payrolls record $4.5B

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NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers were hit with a $32 million luxury tax for the second straight season, among six teams paying a penalty as baseball payrolls rebounded after the lockout to a record $4.56 billion.

The New York Mets set a luxury tax payroll record at $299.8 million, topping the $297.9 million of the 2015 Dodgers, and will pay tax for the first time since the penalty started in 2003, according to final figures compiled by Major League Baseball and obtained by The Associated Press.

NL champion Philadelphia, the New York Yankees, San Diego and Boston also exceeded the $230 million tax threshold. The total tax of $78 million topped the previous high of $74 million in 2016, when six teams also paid.

The Dodgers, assessed at a higher rate because they exceeded the threshold for the second straight year, owe $32.4 million on a luxury tax payroll of $293.3 million. That was down slightly from their $32.6 million penalty for 2021.

Any money saved during pitcher Trevor Bauer's suspension under the domestic violence policy will be reflected in the Dodgers' 2023 payroll.

With pitcher Max Scherzer leading the big leagues with a $43.3 million salary, the Mets shot up to second in payroll and owe $30.8 million. Under owner Steven Cohen, who bought the team before the 2021 season, New York has boosted its projected tax payroll for 2023 to nearly $400 million. The Mets and the Dodgers both pay the so-called new "Cohen Tax," a new fourth threshold starting at $290 million agreed to by negotiators for teams and players last March

The Yankees owe $9.7 million, the Phillies $2.9 million, the Padres $1.5 million and the Red Sox $1.2 million after finishing last in the AL East. San Diego also exceeded the initial threshold for the second year in a row.

Tax money is due to MLB by Friday.

Total spending, based on regular payrolls, rose 12.6% from $4.05 billion in 2021, the lowest in a fully completed season since $3.9 billion in 2015. The previous high of just under $4.25 billion was set in 2017, also the first year of a collective bargaining agreement.

The first $3.5 million of tax money is used to fund player benefits and 50% of the remainder will be used to fund player Individual Retirement Accounts. The other 50% of the remainder goes to a supplemental commissioner's discretionary fund intended to be given to teams receiving revenue-sharing money that have grown their non-media local revenue over several years.

AP source: Duvall jumps to Red Sox

BOSTON — The Red Sox have agreed to terms with outfielder Adam Duvall on a contract that will pay him at least $7 million for 2023, a baseball official told The Associated Press on Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the deal is awaiting a physical.

Duvall, 34, will be in his 10th major league season, having played for the Giants, Reds, Marlins and two stints with Atlanta. He was an All-Star in Cincinnati in 2016 and won a Gold Glove for the Braves in 2021, batting .228 with 38 homers and an NL-leading 113 RBIs to help lead them to a World Series championship.

In all, Duvall has a .230 average with 163 homers and 478 RBIs.

The addition of Duvall would help the Red Sox keep Kiké Hernandez in the infield, where they have lost shortstop Xander Bogaerts to free agency and his replacement, Trevor Story, to elbow surgery.

AP source: Brewers reach deal with Anderson

MILWAUKEE — The Brewers have agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year contract with former Miami Marlins third baseman/right fielder Brian Anderson, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced.

The person said Anderson could earn an additional $2 million in performance bonuses. The Athletic first reported Anderson had reached a deal with the Brewers. Sportsgrid first reported the terms.

BRIEFLY

RIPKEN: Cal Ripken’s eponymous tournaments for youth baseball players have merged with Cooperstown All Star Village under a new agreement with the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.

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