NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers opened this season with a record $310.6 million payroll for luxury tax purposes, according to figures compiled by Major League Baseball and obtained by The Associated Press.
The figure would result in the Dodgers paying nearly $47 million in taxes, another record.
Five clubs exceeded the $230 million threshold on the day the campaign opened. If there are no changes by the end of the season, that number of teams would fall one short of the record set in 2016.
After incorporating to Freddie Freeman and to sign a colossal one-year agreement with Trea TurnerLos Angeles was the only team to exceed a fourth limit, recently established and dubbed the Cohen Tax by New York Mets owner Steven Cohen.
However, the Dodgers’ payroll could drop by about $28.1 million if an arbitration judge upholds pitcher Trevor Bauer’s suspension for violence against a woman.
Los Angeles’ payroll included $34 million for Bauer, averaging the three-year, $102 million contract he signed.
The Mets, in their second season since Cohen bought them, were the team with the second-biggest roster, $289.3 million. His payroll is thus $667,278 below the Cohen Tax.
This left them on the way to a tax payment of just under $2.5 million dollars, after incorporating pitcher Max Scherzer, Dominican center fielder Starling Marsto the ranger Mark Canha and the Venezuelan infielder Edward Escobar.
The New York Yankees were third with $261.4 million, which would be taxed at a $7.6 million payout.
The Philadelphia Phillies, who fired manager Joe Girardi on Friday after a poor start to the season, were fourth with $233.1 million. He is on track to pay almost $629,000 in tax.
Boston was fifth with $232.3 million, which would trigger a tax of nearly $466,000.
The San Diego Padres, the only club other than the Dodgers to pay taxes last year, started their season $694,982 below the starting threshold of $230 million.
Payrolls for luxury tax purposes include average annual values of all players included in the 40-member roster. Added to this are just over $16 million per team for benefits and $1.67 million for each team’s share of the new $50 million pool for players who are not yet in a position to go to salary arbitration.
The figures also include money owed to released players, release clauses and cash transactions.
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Dodgers start season with record $310 million payroll