The Mets had the sport’s highest competitive balance tax payroll in 2022, reports Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. For CBT purposes, New York’s final tally checked in at $299.8MM. According to the report, that was around $2MM higher than the 2015 Dodgers’ $297.9MM mark that had stood as the previous spending record.
New York is responsible for a $30.8MM tax bill, the second-largest tally in the majors, after paying the tax for the first time in franchise history. The Dodgers will foot the highest tax payment at $32.4MM, Blum writes. While Los Angeles’ $293.3MM CBT payroll trailed that of the Mets, the Dodgers were subject to higher penalties as a payor for a second consecutive season.
The Mets are sure to shatter their own record this coming season, as they’re currently projected for a tax number north of $368MM. The Dodgers have trimmed spending, reportedly in hopes of resetting their tax status this year in preparation for a more active offseason next winter. They’re narrowly above the lowest CBT threshold at the moment. Roster Resource forecasts the Dodgers at approximately $238MM, around $5MM north of this year’s $233MM base threshold.
As the Associated Press first reported last September, six teams went over the CBT mark in 2022. Blum reports today the specifics of the payments owed by the Yankees ($9.7MM), Phillies ($2.9MM), Padres ($1.5MM as a second-time payor) and Red Sox ($1.2MM). The final three figures, in particular, are very modest expenditures relative to club payrolls. Nevertheless, the decision to narrowly surpass the threshold is significant in that it raises penalties for payments in future seasons and alters teams’ compensation for signing or losing qualified free agents. The Padres and Phillies surely don’t have regrets after each posted one of the best years in recent franchise history, but the decision didn’t translate to success in the Red Sox’s case. Blum writes that the tax money will be paid to MLB by the end of this week.
A team’s CBT number is determined by the average annual value of a club’s commitments plus player benefits and their contributions to the new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players. The CBT figure isn’t a match for an organization’s actual player payroll in a given season. Blum reports each club’s final raw payroll figure as well, with the Mets again fronting the pack at roughly $274.9MM. The Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Padres, Red Sox, White Sox, Braves, Astros and Blue Jays filled out the top ten.
On the other side, the A’s had the lowest payroll at approximately $49MM. The bottom 10 was rounded out by the Orioles, Pirates, Guardians, Marlins, Royals, Rays, D-Backs, Reds and Mariners. Full team data is available at the AP link.