Detroit Tigers have 3rd-highest Major League Baseball payroll
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay baseball’s highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year and the New York Yankees owe a penalty for a 15th consecutive season, streaks that could end as the sport’s biggest spenders slash payroll for 2018.
The Dodgers owe $36.2 million, according to final figures compiled by the commissioner’s office and obtained by The Associated Press. That raises their five-year tax total to nearly $150 million.
New York was second at $15.7 million, its lowest amount since 2011 but a figure that increased its total since the tax began to $341 million. San Francisco was next at $4.1 million, followed by Detroit at almost $3.7 million and Washington — which is paying tax for the first time — at just under $1.45 million.
The Dodgers and Yankees vow to get below next year’s tax threshold of $197 million. That would reset their base tax rate from 50 percent to 20 percent going into the 2018-19 offseason, when Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and possibly Clayton Kershaw head a potentially illustrious free-agent class.
Starting next year, teams more than $40 million 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.
Los Angeles lowered its regular payroll to $243.7 million from a record $291.1 million in 2015 and $254.9 million last year.
The Yankees’ regular payroll was second at $208.4 million, down from $224.5 million last year and their lowest since 2006. Detroit was third at $190.8 million after falling $8.5 million and Boston fourth at $189.2 million after falling $11.3 million. San Francisco was fifth at $186.6 million, followed by the Chicago Cubs at $186.2 million.
Milwaukee, at $68.2 million, was last for the second straight season. Just above were the Padres and Oakland at $76.3 million.