The Los Angeles Dodgers made another move yesterday, trading for second baseman Chase Utley. The acquisition was a little surprising for Dodgers fans since they have already made several moves in the past few weeks. The trade for the veteran put the LA team close to becoming the first club with a $300 million payroll.
The trade for Utley, which sent him from the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies to the Los Angeles Dodgers, raised the team’s projected payroll to $1.5 million away from the $300 million, so around $298.5. The numbers were calculated and revealed by Major League Baseball. Performance bonuses and other incentives given at the end of the season could push them past the $300 million mark, making them the first club to reach that number.
Baltimore outfielder was asked about their payroll and said it was fine and that they haven’t won the championship. He added that they still need to play and compared them to the Yankees of the 90s and early 2000s, who spent a lot to win.
The Dodgers have done the first part but not the second, failing to get to the World Series.
Luxury tax payrolls are based on the contracts they have on the roster and in that number, around $13 million goes to benefits such as the health and pension plan. Part of it also comes from the taxes each club has to pay.
The Dodgers, who are currently in first place in the NL West, are well over the $189 million tax limit and will pay at a 40 percent rate for going over that number for the third straight season. The team’s projected tax bill is currently at $44 million, which would be $10 million over the record that the New York Yankees set back in 2005 with $34 million.
Out of the $298.5 million, around $40 million are going to players who are no longer part of the team. The club paid $11.4 million in tax two years ago and $26.6 million last year.
Utley, who has appeared in six All-Star games, gets an extra $1.13 million for allowing the trade. That bonus raises his salary to $16.13 million for the season. The Phillies also agreed to pay the $2 million if the Dodgers decide to let him go next season. The Dodgers will pay Utley just $2.3 million for the rest of the season. The Phillies will also pay a small amount of that.
The Dodgers, who have made tons of moves the last three years, have not been able to go far in the postseason and have pretty much disappointed their fans. The Utley acquisition was just one of the many they have done these last few weeks. The move was not a surprise for Phillies fans, who have watched as their best players join contenders or at least better teams. This campaign has been disastrous for the Phillies but they have unloaded the biggest contracts and are now looking to the future.
Will the Dodgers finally get to the World Series? Does baseball need to change something about this? Let us know in the comments.