Dodgers, Yankees Pay Highest Luxury Tax Penalties In '17 Before Expected Payroll Cuts
The Dodgers will pay MLB's "highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year," while the Yankees "owe a penalty for a 15th consecutive season," according to Ronald Blum of the AP. The Dodgers owe $36.2M, which "raises their five-year tax total" to nearly $150M. The Yankees were second at $15.7M, their lowest amount since '11, but a figure that "increased its total amount paid since the tax began" to $341M. The Giants were next at $4.1M, followed by the Tigers at almost $3.7M and the Nationals -- who are "paying tax for the first time" -- are at just under $1.45M. The Dodgers and Yankees both "vow to get below next year's tax threshold" of $197M. The Dodgers' '18 payroll "currently projects" to about $181M and the Yankees' to $177M. Starting next year, teams more than $40M above the threshold would have their "top amateur draft pick dropped back 10 slots -- with the top six overall selections protected and the extra penalty applied to the second-highest pick of those teams" (AP, 12/19).
SHOWING RESTRAINT: In L.A., Dylan Hernandez writes the Dodgers will "spend again, but not like they have in recent seasons." Do not "expect the Dodgers to field" another $300M team like they did two seasons ago. That much "is clear." Hernandez: "The question is where the Dodgers will exercise restraint." The roster "will be leaner." There will be "fewer contracts that fans will complain about." But there will also be "more risk" (L.A. TIMES, 12/20).
MISSING IN ACTION: In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes the "absence of the Yankees and Dodgers from the high-end bidding has been instrumental in a slow-moving free-agent market." Without the "financial coastal behemoths to drive up prices, players and their representatives are missing a key element to raise bidding." But the "tighter finances" of the Yankees and Dodgers have "more to do with next year's free-agent market" (N.Y. POST, 12/20).