MLB payroll leaders for 2018: Red Sox to pass Dodgers with highest payroll in baseball, Yankees seventh
Also, the Yankees' payroll continues to decline
The Associated Press has undertaken an analysis of likely Opening Day payrolls, and the Boston Red Sox are expected to knock the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the top spot, where the Dodgers have been for the last four years. Via the AP, here are the projected top five Opening Day payrolls for 2018 (payroll figures are approximate) ...
Next is the Angels at $170 million and then the Yankees at $167 million. As the AP notes, that figures to be the Yankees' lowest payroll since 2003 -- quite a feat, considering how MLB payrolls at the top tend to inflate -- and their lowest payroll ranking since way back yonder in 1992.
This is all by design, of course. The collective bargaining agreement between owners and players significantly increases the penalties for teams that exceed the $197 million competitive balance tax threshold (informally known as the luxury tax threshold), especially for repeat "offenders." By getting under the threshold for 2018, the Yankees and Dodgers will be able to reset their penalty scale in anticipation of spending big money on the free agent class of 2018-19 that will include the likes of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, and Clayton Kershaw (should the ace choose to exercise his opt-out). As for the Yankees, they were able to get under the threshold despite adding to the fold Giancarlo Stanton, Brandon Drury, and Neil Walker this past offseason.
As for the Red Sox, in 2018 they've got almost $100 million committed to just four players: David Price, the newly signed J.D. Martinez, Hanley Ramirez, and Dustin Pedroia. As well, if Hanley Ramirez's $22 million option vests, then the Sox will have more than $150 million in long-term salary for 2019.
On the other end of the continuum, the AP story also names the two clubs likely to have the lowest payrolls in 2018.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Plus the Rays shut out the powerful Yankees and everything else to know about Saturday's MLB...
Kershaw allowed two runs in three innings in his first start back from the disabled list
Several teams could use the future Hall of Fame third baseman
The Brewers now have too many infielders instead of too many outfielders
Senzel entered the season ranked as the game's seventh-best prospect
The Mariners need another starter, but lack prospects and funds