Giants

Giants one of record six MLB teams to pay luxury tax this season

Giants one of record six MLB teams to pay luxury tax this season

NEW YORK -- A record six teams are paying baseball's luxury tax this season, led by the Los Angeles Dodgers at $31.8 million and the New York Yankees at $27.4 million.

Boston ($4.5 million), Detroit ($4 million), San Francisco ($3.4 million) and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs ($2.96 million) also were sent bills Friday by the commissioner's office, according to information obtained by The Associated Press.

The Yankees are paying for the 14th straight year since the tax began, raising their total to $325 million. New York has said it hopes to get below the threshold by 2018.

Los Angeles owes for the fourth consecutive year and like New York pays at a 50 percent rate on the amount above the $189 million threshold. The Dodgers paid a record $43 million for 2015, and their four-year total is $113 million.

Boston and San Francisco pay at a 30 percent rate as offenders for the second straight year, and Detroit and the Cubs - a first-time payer - are at 17.5 percent.

The number of teams over the threshold topped last year's mark of four. This year's total tax was $74 million.

Major League Baseball negotiated the luxury tax in an effort to slow spending by large-market clubs and combined with revenue sharing has helped increase the competitive of small-market teams and those in the middle.

The threshold increases to $195 million next year under the new labor contract, and tax rates go up, too. There will be additional surtaxes, raising the rate to as much as 95 percent for the amount above $235 million, with the increase to be phased in for 2017 at the midpoint between the old and new rules.

Los Angeles lowered its payroll from a record $291 million last year to just under $255 million, which topped the major leagues for the third straight year. For purposes of the tax, which uses average annual values and includes benefits, the Dodgers' payroll was nearly $253 million.

Luxury tax payrolls figure to increase slightly across the major leagues next year because of a provision in the labor contract calling for the inclusion of salaries of players sent outright to the minors starting this Dec. 1.

The Yankees' regular payroll was second at $224.5 million, up slightly from last year's $223.6 million, followed by Boston ($200.6 million), Detroit ($199 million), the Cubs ($182 million), San Francisco ($181 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($173 million).

Milwaukee had the lowest payroll at $65.5 million, down from $98 million last year. Tampa Bay was at $67 million, down from $77 million.

Spending on 40-man major league payrolls totaled nearly $4.1 billion, an increase of $200 million.

Luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2016 bonuses, and regular payrolls include 2016 salaries, earned bonuses and prorated shares of signing bonuses.

Luxury tax checks to the commissioner's office are due by Jan. 21. Tax money is used to fund player benefits and MLB's Industry Growth Fund. Starting next year, part of the money also will be used to fund player Individual Retirement Accounts and part will be given to teams not over the tax threshold.

Teams pay on the amount they are over the tax threshold. The tax rate starts at 17.5 percent for first-time offenders, then climbs to 30 percent, 40 percent and 50 percent in subsequent years, resetting when a club drops below the threshold for a season.

Starting next year, the tax rates will be 20 percent, 30 percent and 50 percent, with a 12 percent surtax on the amount $20 million to $40 million above the threshold. There will be an additional surtax of 42.5 percent on the amount more than $40 million over for first-time offenders and 45 percent for subsequent offenders.

Bruce Bochy not worried that he'll be a 'lame duck' manager in 2019

Bruce Bochy not worried that he'll be a 'lame duck' manager in 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — In the ninth inning of an ugly loss to the Padres on Monday, the camera panned over to Giants manager Bruce Bochy. He was scowling at the home plate umpire after a call he didn’t agree with. 

You can see, then, why Bochy laughed Tuesday when asked if he has ever lost the competitive fire in the dugout. 

“You ask a couple of guys last night who were in the dugout,” he said, smiling. “If I did (lose my fire) I wouldn’t be here. I would not be here. I love what I’m doing and want to be back and have another shot at the postseason.”

Of the three most visible faces on the baseball side of the organization, Bochy is the only one not undergoing changes. General manager Bobby Evans was let go Monday and vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean will soon start interviewing candidates to take the baseball ops slot that reports directly to ownership. 

The manager, though, is under contract, and on Monday, team president and CEO Larry Baer said Bochy will be back. That was relayed to Bochy from Baer and Sabean. In turn, Bochy told the two that he’s not at all concerned about the fact that he’s going into the last year of his contract and there have been no extension talks. He does not consider himself a lame duck.

“I don’t want them to have that on their plate either, and I’ve told them that,” Bochy said. “I’m signed and I’m good right now. Let’s just concentrate on what we need to do and that’s make this team better. I have zero concerns about (my contract).”

Next season will be Bochy’s 13th with the Giants. He spent a dozen years in San Diego and only went through one GM change, and in his first dozen years here, it has been the same. Even with the one change here, there was no drama. Evans was promoted to take Sabean’s job in 2015. Now, Evans is gone, and Bochy will have to work with a new head of baseball operations. This person may eventually want their own handpicked manager, but for at least a year, Bochy will be the choice. He said he’s not at all concerned about how a new partnership may work. His focus is on the field.

“My job is to make it work,” he said.

POLL: Giants memorable moments -- Winning '10 World Series vs. Winning '14 World Series

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AP

POLL: Giants memorable moments -- Winning '10 World Series vs. Winning '14 World Series

NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Pregame Live at 6 p.m. to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Padres conclude on Friday, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will be crowned most memorable!

1. Giants defeat Rangers in 2010 World Series thanks to Edgar Renteria's three-run homer (New winner -- Defeated Travis Ishikawa's walk-off homer wins 2014 NL Pennant)

(From former Giants outfielder and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Andres Torres)

I got to the field early, around 1:30pm because it was the World Series and you're pumped. Around 3pm, Edgar came to me and said 'Andres, I'm going to hit a homer today.' I'm like 'Okay, I believe him.'

Then we had batting practice, we came in, had something to eat, then we had soft-toss as we got closer to the game. And Edgar said to me 'Remember, I told you I'm going to hit a homer.'

Then in the seventh inning, he hits it, and we see the outfielder going back and back and back and then the ball's gone!!!

I was so pumped and when he came back to the dugout from homeplate, I started yelling in Spanish 'You told me you were going to do it. You told me you were going to do it.' I said it twice because he said it to me twice that he was going to do it. We were so pumped!!!

It was amazing. He called it twice, twice!!! We were World Champions and he was the MVP and it was amazing. Edgar was a leader in the clubhouse. He played a long time and made sure we were all doing the right things, especially me and Pablo (Sandoval). He's a great friend and that was a special moment, I loved it...it was like wow!! It was so cool!!!

VS.

2. Giants defeat Royals in 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner closes Game 7 with five shutout innings of relief

(From Alex Pavlovic)

A few minutes after he threw a 119-pitch shutout in Game 5 of the 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner was approached by Royals manager Ned Yost. The two were headed in opposite directions as they gave postgame interviews, but Yost wanted to take a moment to congratulate Bumgarner. 

"Great game," he told him. "You know what? I sure am glad I don't have to see you again."

Bumgarner smiled. He had one more trick up his sleeve that month, and it would win the Giants a third World Series, stun the baseball world, and cement the left-hander's place as the best big-game pitcher of his generation. 

Bumgarner came out of the bullpen in Kauffman Stadium in Game 7 and threw 68 pitches over five innings, carrying an early 3-2 lead all the way to the finish line. Essentially making a second start in four days, Bumgarner allowed two hits and struck out four, finishing one of the best postseason runs in baseball history. He earned a five-inning save, lowering his 2014 postseason ERA to 1.03 over an astounding 52 2/3 innings. 

"As soon as I saw him warming up and we had the lead, I knew it was over," said Game 7 starter Tim Hudson. "I knew the big fella was going to get it done."

Hudson lasted just 1 2/3 innings before turning it over to Jeremy Affeldt, who got the ball to Bumgarner. The Giants scored twice in the second and took the lead on Michael Morse's single in the fourth. Joe Panik had the defensive highlight of the night, diving and glove-flipping to Brandon Crawford to start a huge double play in the third. From there, it was the Bumgarner show. 

A misplay in the outfield put Alex Gordon on third with two down in the ninth, but Salvador Perez popped up. The Giants had a third title in five years. 

"This group of warriors continues to amaze me," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Nobody wanted it more than them."

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