The Mets had the sport’s highest competitive tax record in 2022, reports the Associated Press’s Ronald Blum. For CBT purposes, New York’s final balance sheet was $299.8 million. According to the report, that was about $2 million higher than the Dodgers’ $297.9 million mark in 2015, which was believed to be a previous spending record.
New York is responsible for a $30.8 million tax bill, the second-highest tally among majors after paying the tax for the first time in franchise history. The Dodgers will make the largest tax payment at $32.4 million, Blum writes. While Los Angeles’ CBT payroll trailed that of the Mets at $293.3 million, the Dodgers were hit as payers with heavier penalties for the second straight season.
The Mets are sure to break their own record next season as they are currently forecast at a taxpayer number north of $368 million. The Dodgers have cut spending, reportedly hoping to reset their tax status this year in preparation for a more active offseason next winter. They are currently just above the lowest CBT threshold. Roster Resource is forecasting the Dodgers at about $238 million, about $5 million north of this year’s baseline of $233 million.
As the Associated Press first reported last September, six teams surpassed the CBT mark in 2022. Blum today reports the details of payments made by the Yankees (9.7 million time payers) and Red Sox ($1.2 million). The last three figures in particular are very modest expenses compared to clubs’ payslips. Still, the decision to narrowly breach the threshold is significant in that it raises penalties for payments in future seasons and changes how teams are compensated for signing or losing qualified free agents. The Padres and Phillies certainly have no regrets, having each written one of the best years in recent franchise history, but the decision didn’t work out in the Red Sox’s case. Blum writes that the tax money will be paid out to MLB by the end of this week.
A team’s CBT figure is determined by the average annual value of a club’s commitments plus player benefits and their contributions to the new pre-arbitration player bonus pool. The CBT number does not match an organization’s actual player salaries in a given season. Blum also reports each club’s final gross wages number, with the Mets again leading the way with around $274.9 million. The Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Padres, Red Sox, White Sox, Braves, Astros and Blue Jays filled out the top ten.
On the other hand, the A’s had the lowest payroll at about $49 million. Rounding out the bottom 10 were Orioles, Pirates, Guardians, Marlins, Royals, Rays, D-Backs, Reds, and Mariners. Full team dates are available at the AP link.