NEW YORK — The Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals are the only teams on track to pay baseball's luxury tax this year, according to opening-day payroll totals compiled by Major League Baseball and obtained by The Associated Press.
Boston's payroll at the start of the season for purposes of the tax was $233.9 million, which would cause the Red Sox to pay a $9.4 million tax. Washington's payroll was $201 million, which would result in a tax of $1.2 million.
San Francisco was just below the $197 million tax threshold at $196.66 million. The Giants were followed by the Chicago Cubs at $183.9 million, Houston at $182.4 million, the Los Angeles Dodgers at $181.99 million and the New York Yankees at $178.8 million.
New York was over the threshold from 2003-17, paying $341 million. The Dodgers have had the highest tax bill for the past four seasons and have paid nearly $150 million over the last five years.
By not paying tax this year, the Yankees and Dodgers would reset their base tax rates in 2018 from 50
Boston's base tax rate was 30
Because Washington paid tax last year, the Nationals' base rate is 30
Luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts of all players on 40-man rosters and include $14,044,600 in benefits. End-of-season totals also will include earned bonuses plus reflect roster changes made throughout the season.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Ronald Blum, The Associated Press