Dodgers: 2019 Salary Information As Free Agency Starts

As the Dodgers begin the off-season, salary information will play a big part in how they make trades and free agent signings. For 2018 the Dodgers ended up resetting their luxury tax penalties. Many have assumed that the Dodgers would be free spending again in 2019 but the Collective Bargaining Agreement made some serious penalties for too much spending. I wrote a luxury tax refresher a couple months ago and will re-establish some of that information below.

  • The thresholds for being taxed for the duration of the CBA are:
    • 2019: $206 million
    • 2020: $208 million
    • 2021: $210 million
  • There are various penalties for exceeding the CBT that begin at 20%. The number changes based on the number of consecutive years the threshold is exceeded.
  • The penalties reset when a team stays under the threshold.
  • A team that exceeds the threshold by $40 million or more are penalized in the draft. A team not in the top 6 of the draft will have their first pick moved back 10 spots.
  • Penalties are calculated based on the Average Annual Value (AAV) of a multi-year contract.

To sum it up the Dodgers will have financial penalties if they exceed $206 million in 2019 and would have a draft pick penalty if they exceed $246 million.

Current Dodgers Salaries

The 2019 salaries of the Dodgers as of November 2, 2018 are below. All arbitration information is an estimate from  Trade Rumors. Most of the salary information is from COTS.  The bWAR is Wins Above Replacement from Baseball Reference. As can be seen arbitration candidates like Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager should still be bargains in 2019.

Player Notes 2018 bWAR 2019
Baez, Pedro Arb-Est 0.7 $1,800,000
Cingrani, Tony Arb-Est -0.2 $2,700,000
Freese, David 1/$5M 2.1 $5,000,000
Fields, Josh Arb-Est 0.9 $2,800,000
Garcia, Yimi Arb-Est -0.7 $900,000
Goeddel, Erik Arb-Est 0.6 $900,000
Hernandez, Enrique Arb-Est 2.8 $3,200,000
Hill, Rich 3/$48M 1.3 $16,000,000
Jansen, Kenley 5/$80M 0.6 $16,000,000
Kemp. Matt 8/$160M 1.1 $20,000,000
Kershaw, Clayton 3/$93M + inc. 4 $31,000,000
Koehler, Tom Arb-Est 0 $2,000,000
Maeda, Kenta 8/$25M + inc. 0.4 $3,125,000
Pederson, Joc Arb-Est 2.3 $4,300,000
Puig, Yasiel Arb-Est 2.7 $11,300,000
Rosscup, Zac Arb-Est 0 $800,000
Seager, Corey Arb-Est 0.4 $2,600,000
Taylor, Chris Arb-Est 4.1 $3,200,000
Turner, Justin 4/$64M 4.5 $16,000,000
Utley, Chase 2/$2M -0.2 $1,000,000
Wood, Alex Arb-Est 1 $9,000,000
Kemp Trade To Pads $3,500,000
Club Control $2,300,000
40 Man Minors $2,250,000
Player Benefits $14,500,000
Total $176,175,000
CBA Tax Threshold $206,000,000
Amount Under Threshold $29,825,000
Draft Pick Penalty $246,000,000
Amount Under Penalty $69,825,000

The “Amount Under Threshold” is the amount before tax penalties begin. The “Amount Under Penalty” is the amount before they start losing draft positions. I cannot see the Dodgers doing that, ever.

Dodgers Free Agents

The current Dodgers free agents as of November 2, 2018 are:

Free Agents 2018 Salary
Axford, John $1,500,000
Dozier, Brian $9,000,000
Grandal, Yasmani $7,900,000
Hudson, Daniel $555,000
Machado, Manny $16,000,000
Madson, Ryan $7,666,666
Ryu, Hyun-Jin $7,833,333
May 2, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Possible Impact of Ryu/Grandal Qualifying Offers

If both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasmani Grandal accept their Qualifying Offers within the 10 day window then the Dodgers would be almost $6 million over the tax threshold. It could be a sign that the Dodgers are back to spending into the tax penalties again.  They’d still be $34 million under the draft penalty amount.

Other Free Agents

There are more than 140 free agents at the moment and MLB Trade Rumors has a great tracker for them. Jon Heyman has an article where he and an expert predict what contracts free agents might get. Contracts for players like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper could exceed over $30 million per year for 8-12 years. Pitchers like Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin, Greg Kimbrel and Nathan Eovaldi could get $15-20 million per year for 3-5 years. The Dodgers prefer to trade for cheaper talent and I doubt we see them make a big splash in free agency. Personally, I’d not mind Machado or Harper.

Things To Look For Before the 2019 Season

Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger


    1. Yeah, why is Bellinger not on the Payroll, and when do Buehler and Muncy get put on MLB vs. Minors Payroll? What am I missing?

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