Dodgers biggest spenders in payroll

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Friday, December 19, 2014

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have ended the New York Yankees' 15-year streak as Major League Baseball's biggest spender and owe more than $26.6 million in luxury tax.

The Dodgers finished with a record payroll of $257,283,410, according to final calculations made by Major League Baseball on Friday and obtained by The Associated Press. That is more than $20 million above the previous high, set by the Yankees last year.

For the first time since the current luxury tax began in 2003, the Yankees won't be paying the most. The luxury tax was put in place as a slowdown on spending by high-revenue teams, and teams pay based on the amount they are over the $189 million threshold.

The Dodgers owe $26,621,125 based on a $277.7 million payroll for purposes of the tax, which calculates payroll based on the average annual value of contracts for players on the 40-man roster and includes benefits.

Los Angeles pays the tax at a 30 percent rate because it has gone over the threshold for the second straight year. Its rate would increase to 40 percent if it goes over in 2015, which is likely.

The Yankees cut their payroll and owe $18.3 million in tax, down from $28.1 million. They have gone over the threshold every year and pay at a 50 percent rate.

Checks to the commissioner's office are due by Jan. 21.