Earlier this week, we learned that Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s preference was to keep his team’s payroll below the 2019 luxury tax (officially known as the competitive balance tax) threshold of $206 million. The Dodgers plan to join the Yankees under that threshold, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. The Dodgers apparently said as much in a document they prepared for potential investors.
The Red Sox and Nationals were the only teams to cross the luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season, as Craig noted in September. Both the Dodgers and Yankees got hit with the tax last year. By having a year where they don’t cross the threshold, both teams reset their penalties for doing so in the future. Otherwise, consecutive seasons crossing the threshold result in increasingly harsher penalties.
According to Cot’s Contracts, the Dodgers’ current payroll stands at about $183 million. They have a bunch of arbitration-eligible players, so we could see some non-tenders by the November 30 deadline. Those players include Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernández, Corey Seager, and Pedro Báez. The Dodgers also made $17.9 million qualifying offers to Yasmani Grandal and Hyun-Jin Ryu. In the document, the Dodgers project payroll to stand at $185 million in 2019 and ’20, $191 million in 2021, and $196 million in 2022. An official Shaikin talked to, however, said he would be “shocked” if the Dodgers didn’t cross $200 million for the 2019 season.
It’s not shocking, but still disappointing, to hear that a team that reached back-to-back World Series isn’t going to try even harder to reach the ultimate goal. Forbes valued the Dodgers in April this year at about $3 billion. But the luxury tax threshold was always going to be used as a soft salary cap. Craig said as much when the last collective bargaining agreement was made official.
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.