Yankees Hit With $28M Luxury Tax Bill, Pushing Total Past $250M Since '03
The Yankees yesterday were hit with a $28M million luxury tax bill, "pushing their total" past the $250M mark since the penalty began in '03, according to Ronald Blum of the AP. The Dodgers were the "only other team that exceeded the tax threshold this year" and must pay $11.4M. The Red Sox "finished just under for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy" of the $178M mark. Figures include "average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades" and $10.8M per team in benefits. Because the Yankees "have been over the tax threshold at least four consecutive times," they pay at a 50% rate on the overage, and their $28.1M bill was second only to their $34.1M payment following the '05 season. Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said that he "hopes to get under the threshold next year," when it rises to $189M. That would "reset the team's tax rate" to 12.5% for '15 and get the Yankees some revenue-sharing refunds. But following agreements yesterday with 2B Brian Roberts and P Matt Thornton, the Yankees are at $177.7M "for 15 players next year, when benefits are likely to total" between $11-12M. Their "only hope to get below the threshold appears to be if an arbitrator upholds" most of 3B Alex Rodriguez' 211-game suspension, "relieving the team of a large percentage" of his $25M annual salary (AP, 12/17).
BLUE MEN GROUP: In L.A., Bill Shaikin noted the Dodgers' "total player expenditures for last season" comes in at $248M. Since the Dodgers "will exceed the threshold for the second consecutive season," they will pay 30% on the amount above $189M, rather than the 17.5% rate they were assessed this year (LATIMES.com, 12/17).