Red Sox

Yankees, Red Sox only clubs to pay luxury tax


Yankees, Red Sox only clubs to pay luxury tax

Associated Press
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankeeslowered spending on players by 12 million this year, cutting payrollby 5 million and slashing their major league-leading luxury tax bymore than 7 million.New York was hit with an 18 millionluxury tax Tuesday by Major League Baseball. The tax was New York'slowest since 2003 and down from 25.7 million last year, when theYankees won the World Series."Atta baby. And right now we're in the 170s," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, looking ahead to his 2011 payroll.
Season-ending payroll information and the tax was sent to teams Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press.Boston is the only other team thatwill have to pay. The Red Sox, who missed the playoffs this year,exceeded the payroll threshold for the first time since 2007 and owe1.49 million.According to the collectivebargaining agreement, the Yankees and Red Sox must send checks to thecommissioner's office by Jan. 31.Red Sox president Larry Lucchino declined comment.Since the current tax began in 2003,the Yankees have run up a bill of 192.2 million. The only other teamsto pay are Boston (15.34 million), Detroit (1.3 million) and the LosAngeles Angels (927,000).New York's payroll was 215.1 millionfor the purpose of the luxury tax, down from 226.2 million, and theYankees pay at a 40 percent rate for the amount over the threshold,which rose from 162 million to 170 million. Boston's luxury-taxpayroll was 176.6 million, and the Red Sox pay at a 22.5 percent rate."We're doing a better job ofmanaging our payroll and managing our decision-making as we enter thefree-agent market," Cashman said. "Our payroll doesn't necessarily haveto live at that level, but it's nice to know that our owners arecommitted to allow us to get there if we need to."To compute the payroll, Major LeagueBaseball uses the average annual values of contracts for players on40-man rosters and adds benefits. The Yankees failed to land free-agentpitcher Cliff Lee despite being given permission from ownership to makea 150 million, seven-year offer. Lee agreed to a 120 million,five-year deal with Philadelphia."We weren't going to exceed where wewere this past year, but the bottom line is that now that the Lee thinghas declared itself, it would be hard-pressed for us to get up to thatlevel," Cashman said.While the Yankees are stocked withhigh-salaried veterans, Cashman has mixed in young players in recentyears such as Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Brett Gardner."You need a strong farm system thatprevents you from being desperate in the free-agent market," Cashmansaid. "You don't want to be desperate in the free-agent market, becauseyou'll get slaughtered."New York's payroll under theconventional method of calculation - salaries and prorated shares ofsigning bonuses - dropped from 222.5 million in 2008 to 220 millionlast year to 215.1 million this season.Boston's payroll rose by 30.2million to 170.7 million. The 44.4 million between the Yankees andRed Sox was larger than the payrolls of San Diego (43.7 million) andPittsburgh (44.1 million).After moving into Target Field,Minnesota's payroll also went up by 30 million, leaving the Twins 10thin the majors at 103 million. Cincinnati increased its payroll by 9.8million to 82.5 million.Florida raised its payroll by 9.8million to 47.3 million after an agreement by the Marlins with theplayers' association last January to increase spending. Florida movesinto a new ballpark in 2012.The Los Angeles Dodgers cut payrollby a major league-high 21.8 million to 109.8 million as owners Frankand Jamie McCourt argued in divorce proceedings. Houston dropped by17.9 million to 90.1 million and the New York Mets by 14.7 millionto 127.6 million. Cleveland cut 16.7 million to 60.5 million.The Yankees, Phillies (third at145.5 million), Twins and the World Series champion San FranciscoGiants (11th at 101.4 million) were the only teams from the top halfby payroll to make the playoffs.AL champion Texas was 22nd at 74.3million. Joining the Rangers in the postseason from the bottom half byspending were Atlanta (16th at 89.2 million), Cincinnati (19th) andTampa Bay (20th at 77.5 million).Overall payroll dropped by 2.3 million to 2.912 billion.Payroll figures are for 40-manrosters and include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses,earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercisedoptions and cash transactions, such as money included in trades. Insome cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted toreflect present-day values.The commissioner's office computedthe average salary at 2,932,162, up 1.7 percent from last year's2,882,336. The players' association, which uses a slightly differentmethod, pegged the average at 3,014,572 last week, up 0.6 percent from2,996,106.

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins


Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone" the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration


Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.