The Red Sox will once again finish the year above the MLB's luxury tax threshold, which will likely result in them paying $13 million in penalties at the end of the season according to the Associated Press.
This isn't a surprise given the number of large contracts on the team's payroll (Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi, David Price, etc.) but last season this wasn't an issue because Boston was by far the best team in baseball. This year? It's a near certainty they'll miss the playoffs.
The Red Sox will finish 2019 with a $242.8 million payroll, with the luxury tax threshold at $206 million. Because it's their second straight year over the tax, they have to pay at a 30 percent rate on the first $20 million over the $206 million threshold, and a 42 percent rate on the next $20 million. In 2018, Boston was $40 million over the threshold, causing their draft pick to drop 10 places.
The next two highest payroll totals go to the Yankees ($233.9 million) and Cubs ($233.8 million). The Yankees have a stronghold on the AL East and have hopes of making it to the ALCS at the least, while the Cubs are fighting for a wild card spot if they aren't able to catch the Cardinals in the NL Central.
With the league's highest payroll and a general manager opening vacated by Dave Dombrowski, there's a decent chance the Red Sox look a lot different over the next few years. J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts' contract extensions loom as the club's biggest impending decisions.
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