The New York Yankees are one of a record six Major League teams who exceeded the $189 million luxury tax threshold for the 2016 season.
For the 14th straight year, the New York Yankees have been sent a bill by Major League Baseball for going over the luxury tax ceiling designed to curb the spending of big market teams. The team has been over the limit every single year since the rule was implemented, indeed, you could make the argument that New York’s aggressive spending was the primary reason the soft cap was put into place back in 1997.
According to an Associated Press report Friday evening, the Yankees have paid an incredible $325 million over the course of those 14 seasons, easily the highest figure among any MLB club. Because they’ve exceeded the limit for so long, they are essentially paying a 50% tax on all the player’s they sign at this point.
From a business standpoint, it’s therefore pretty easy to see why principal owner Hal Steinbrenner has been very vocal about getting under the luxury tax in the next two years.
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The team’s big-money signings of Matt Holliday and Aroldis Chapman during the Winter Meetings all but assure New York will once again exceed the ceiling in 2017, but with so many of the club’s biggest deals set to expire following next season, 2018 may be the year that the Baby Boss finally gets his wish.
Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Holliday, Michael Pineda, and Tyler Clippard will all come off the books before 2018, and if Masahiro Tanaka exercises his opt-out clause as many expect, that would drop the team’s payroll even lower.
It’s also very possible that the front office could find a new home for Brett Gardner and Chase Headley by next winter after reportedly listening to offer on the pair of veterans this offseason.
2016 marked saw an all-time high six teams exceed the luxury tax: the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers, Giants, and Cubs. For the World Champions, it was their first time ever going over the limit. With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the ceiling will be raised to $195 million in 2017, and then steadily go up over the next five years, giving the big market clubs a little breathing room.