New York entered the last full month of the season with $273.9 million in payroll, according to updated numbers through August 31 committed to Major League Baseball. The Dodgers come in second with $267.2 million, followed by the New York Yankees with $254.4 million.
The Mets are hoping to win their first World Championship title since 1986.
“I have expectations that the Mets will be the last team standing. What else is there? I mean, that’s why we get up in the morning every day,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said on Sunday. It’s kind of cruel, but I’d rather know up front what the end game is supposed to be like. Some people go through their whole lives not knowing exactly what success is supposed to be like. Nobody has to tell me here how to do. There is a scoreboard and ranking. It is there. You don’t like it, play better.”
Mets player Max Scherzer, with a league-high $43.3 million, earns nearly $5 million less than the entire Oakland team and teams up with teammates Jacob Degrom and Francisco Lindor for $103 million — more than eight of the 30 clubs.
When the Mets last topped MLB’s payroll, they grossed $21.3 million.
The Dodgers’ pay fell when Bauer was suspended for two years without pay on April 29 for violating the sport’s domestic violence policy. Bauer’s 2022 salary was $32 million, but it was reduced to what he was owed at the time of suspension: $3.8 million. Challenging discipline before an arbitrator.
Los Angeles topped the payroll in both 2020 and 2021. The Dodgers generated a salary record of $291 million in 2015.
The Mets’ payroll has risen steadily since Stephen Cohen bought the team from the Welbone and Katz families after the 2020 season. Mets spending rose from $146 million in 2019 to $199 million last year, its first season after the pandemic, negotiators said last March. A new tax threshold was targeting him. Then Cohen said sarcastically, “It’s better than calling a bridge after you.”
For the purposes of the luxury tax, which uses the average annual values of players on the 40-man rosters, the Mets are on track to set a record at $298.8 million and surpass $297.9 million in the 2015 Dodgers. The luxury tax payroll includes just over $16 million per team for perks and $1.67 million for each club’s share of the players’ $50 million total prior to arbitration.
The Mets are in line with a $29.9 million tax, and their midseason tax payroll deals boosted their opening-day forecast of $289.3 million and surpassed the new $290 million threshold in the March agreement that ended a 99-day shutdown.
The Dodgers opened the season with $310 million in tax payroll, and are on track to pay a record $47 million fine. Their tax pay had dropped to $289.96 million by August 31, putting them under Cohen’s tax. With higher tax rates as a repeat offender, Dodgers is on track to pay $29.4 million.
The Yankees have $267 million in tax payroll and $9.4 million in expected tax, and the Phillies will owe $243 million ($2.6 million).
Boston, which is just over the first line at $234.5 million, will owe about $900,000. After paying taxes for the first time last year, San Diego became the second offender with a payroll of about $233 million and a tax of just over $800,000.
The four tax limits for this year are $230 million, $250 million, $270 million, and $290 million.
First-time offenders pay 20% over the amount above the first threshold, 32% above the second threshold, 62.5% above the third threshold, and 80% above the fourth threshold.
As a repeat offender, dodgers pay 30% over the first, 42% over the second, 75% over the third and 90% over the fourth.
The Yankees have paid $348 million in taxes since sanctions began in 2003, followed by the Dodgers $182 million.
Just once before, six teams have paid taxes, with the Dodgers and Yankees joined in 2016 by the Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Detroit and San Francisco for $74 million.
Oakland has the lowest regular payroll at $49 million and the lowest tax payroll at $65 million.
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