The Yankees received their tax bill on Monday, just not the one from Uncle Sam. Uncle Bud sent a $26.9 Million Luxury Tax bill to the Yankees, based on their record-size payroll of $222.2 Million. The amount is the highest the Yankees have ever been forced to pay; the highest being $34 Million in ’05.
Unfortunately for the first time in Yankees history, having such a large payroll did not result in a postseason appearance. Each year MLB computes a number which is essentially a salary cap. Any salary amount over the ‘cap’ forces a team to pay 22.5% for the first time and 40% for all future occurrences. For the 2008 season, the cap was $155 Million; for the 2009 season, it will be $162 Million.
The Detroit Tigers were the only other team required to pay a luxury tax this year – $1.3 Million. Detroit’s payroll was at $160.8 Million. Coincidentally, the only two teams to pay the luxury tax also missed the postseason.
This year’s bill brings the total the Yankees have paid to $148.3 Million in the last six seasons. This number represents 90% of the number ever paid to Luxury taxes. In fact, only two other teams have ever received a luxury tax bill. The Los Angeles Angels paid $927,000 in 2004; and Boston has paid $13.9 Million over the course of four seasons. Boston did not exceed the cap this year.
If the Yankees can pass on Manny and Tex, which I think they should, because if we can’t win with the team now, we can’t win ever, they can keep the luxury tax at a more reasonable number. This would go a lon way towards keeping the price of beers below $10 at the stadium. Cause I stop buying beers when they exceed $9.75 a piece. I’ll just get drunk in the parking lot, thank you very much.