Remember, if you can, that pre-pandemic world where matters such as the Red Sox’ stated and then de-emphasized desire to dip under the luxury tax line were of the utmost importance. While there are much bigger concerns now, even just in the arena of baseball finances, the luxury line is still of real moment to the Boston organization.
The Red Sox already did the hard work — especially, trading Mookie Betts and David Price — to drive down 2020 salary to the point that the team would not pay competitive balance tax penalties — and, more importantly, would reset its penalty rate for future seasons. Unfortunately, the uncertain nature of the 2020 campaign extends to that effort. If the season is cancelled, it won’t count as a luxury tax year, meaning the Red Sox would still be considered a multi-year offender at the start of the 2021 offseason.
It’s clear, then, what happens if the 2020 season is (reset!) or isn’t (no reset!) played. But what of a partial-season? Alex Speier of the Boston Globe has us covered.
For the 2020 campaign to count for logging luxury tax years, it must continue beyond the August 31st trade deadline. In the even of a mid-season cancellation prior to that time, the Sox will remain in the penalty box. Should MLB find a way to keep its contests going into September (and hopefully beyond), then the Red Sox’ record of excess spending will be expunged in advance of the 2020-21 offseason.
As Speier notes, the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t just altered the schedule. It also modifies what kind of revenue-sharing rebates the Red Sox can anticipate receiving if they avoid another year of repeat offender status. And it changes what kind of spending the club might wish to pursue in free agency this coming winter. Even without the stepped-up tax charges that apply to multi-season tax payors, revenue shortfalls are sure to impact the pursuit of big-ticket players.
While the motivation for the luxury reset isn’t as strong in retrospect as it was at the time, the Sox surely still hope to reap the rewards. So long as the league is still running as of the trade deadline — where some interesting questions may await — they’ll do just that.
At the end of the season, duh.
Incorrect. Someone didn’t bother reading the easily linked article in the Globe above which gave the date. Duh..
They didn’t even have to go that far. It is clearly stipulated in the post that they clicked on to make this comment. The internet really shines a spotlight on human ignorance
So is the Tax pro rated, or do all teams reset if the season plays out?
I still say this discussion is meaningless as if the season ends in July, MLB and the MLBPA will in my view work out an agreement where all teams reset (unless a vaccine is discovered). A bone will be thrown to the players if necessary so all teams are able to bid “equally” on pending free agents. Every contract this coming off season will take a hit compared to pre-pandemic expectations and the simple truth is the players need all big market clubs to be able to spend as much as possible.
stan lee the manly
Oof, I don’t think relying on the two sides actually reaching an agreement is a good idea after the past three months lol. Appreciate the optimism though!
What choice do they really have? The CBA expires after next year and if they don’t learn from the most recent negotiations, there will be a lockout/strike and the fans will never forgive both sides. PED use saved the league the last time but the world was different then.
It certainly was a different world.
MCGUIRE AND SOSA saved baseball singlehandedly.
I remember rushing out of a Wedding to the car to hear if MCGUIRE had hit any homeruns on the last day of the season, I think it was on a Sunday?
The tax and the tax threshold are pro rated. But I believe that benefits will still be about the same.
The same teams that would have paid a tax before Covid will still pay a tax, but a lower amount.
I believe they all reset.
Blimey, have all other MLBTR lads (Mark,Connor, TC, Tim) gone on a socially distant golf day, leaving Jeff holding the fort with soon to be sore typing fingers?
By the way, since I’m often critical, a big shout out to Jeff and the entire MLBTR staff. I realize you need continuing eyeballs and it’s not easy to find content to continue to write like you do. I may ask why was time spent on a certain article but then I realize I keeping coming back to check for more so my question is self answered. Thank you!
At least there’s a silver lining then if things do fall apart
Hoping all goes well, this trade deadline is going to either be the greatest or lamest one ever. What is the threshold for buyers and sellers going to be? If your 15-15 are you a buyer? If your 10-20 are you a seller?
Boston built and paid for their World Series and now they are paying for their efforts. When you think of prized organizations with history to baseball, Yankees and Red Sox are top of the list. To see the Red Sox in their current position, is min blowing. To any other organization that have fans scream, “Our ownership doesn’t pay to put a winning team on the field.” This is what could happen to teams who overspend. What’s worse, it’s a short season or not a season at all. Clubs pockets are smaller and it’s hurting the organizations because money isn’t being brought in as it is going out.
The Red Sox still have multiple legitimate superstars and good young players. They’re in a better spot than most teams.
Dombrowski left the Red Sox in better shape than he left the Tigers.
The Sox reset their tax base in 17 and knew they’d pay the piper in 20. The Dodgers and Yankees did the same thing which was in part why no one bid against the Sox for JDM and the Yankees at last will like have decisions in 21.
Patrick – I totally agree! The Red Sox are in much better shape than the Tigers, because ownership fired DD less than a year after the WS win. Assuming CBT is rest if the season goes until 8/31, they will be free to spend next year. RS turned over 80 percent of their roster between each WS title 04, 07, 13, and 18, so the turn over is normal. They let Pedro and Lowe go after 04……
The Red Sox have a lot of talented position players and will have money available to spend on pitching in 2021, so they will be fine.
Teams that try to hang on to too many players on the wrong side of 30 too often fall short of the WS hopes.
My head hurts trying to keep track of all the possible what ifs when we are almost back up to a thousand people dying each day. I wish we could send players out to bop non-mask wearers over the head and keep track of those stats instead of bothering to play games.
This is actually better news than originally reported. Back in June, it was reported that the entire regular season had to be completed in order for the CBT to reset. Now, the season needs to last about 6 weeks. The Red Sox torpedoed their season to reset; let’s hope they are able to make it into September and allow them to spend some real money on starting pitchers for 2021. Their rotation is atrocious right now!
Any Red Sox fan that is complaining needs to get real.
Since the Lux Tax began in 2003 the Sox have won 4 WS. while paying 44 MM TOTAL Lux Taxes. Less than 3MM per yr.
The NYY’s have paid 326 MM for one title. More than 20 MM per yr.
The LAD’s have paid 150 MM for zero titles. More than 9 MM per yr.
They were extemely lucky to “miss out” on both A Rod and Stanton. And even luckier to get the LAD’s to take Crawford, Beckett, A Gon and Punto’s $$$ before 2013. In addition because the Yankees got stuck with Stanton’s contract the Sox got JD cheap.