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.
|Kershaw, Clayton||3/$93M + inc.||4||$31,000,000|
|Maeda, Kenta||8/$25M + inc.||0.4||$3,125,000|
|Kemp Trade||To Pads||$3,500,000|
|40 Man Minors||$2,250,000|
|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|
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.
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