How might another luxury tax bill affect the Dodgers' future?
Published in Baseball
LOS ANGELES — One of the biggest questions of the Dodgers’ offseason finally has a definitive answer.
Will the team stay below Major League Baseball’s luxury tax threshold in 2023?
No, club president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed Wednesday, probably not.
The news didn’t come as much of a surprise. While there appeared to be an opportunity at the start of the winter for the Dodgers to keep their payroll next season below MLB’s $233-million tax threshold, that possibility all but vanished in late December with the reduction of Trevor Bauer’s suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy.
Because the pitcher was reinstated for the 2023 campaign — albeit with a reduced salary of $22.5 million after having 50 games’ worth of pay docked as part of the arbitrator’s ruling — his money went back on the Dodgers’ books.
Even though the team released him, Bauer will still count against its payroll, which is currently believed to be around $245 million for tax calculation purposes.
“With Bauer, we were clearly over,” Friedman said, adding that the team will not try to dump salary at some point this season to get back below the line.
“We’re doing all we can to win a championship this year while keeping our future outlook bright,” Friedman added.
That latter goal could be more of a challenge now.
Before learning of Bauer’s reduced suspension — his original ban was supposed to cover all of 2023, the last year of his contract with the team — the Dodgers had seemingly been on track to stay under the tax line.
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