We are now into the offseason, so what better time to look forward than right now? I have updated our payroll worksheet -- a living document that is updated throughout the year -- so that it now includes 2017-2020, which means it's time to say goodbye to 2016.
It is instructive to look at the payroll at the end of the year and compare it to how the year began. We did that last year too, when the Dodgers ended 2015 with a $316 million payroll.
In 2016, the Dodgers had an opening day payroll of $236 million, and ended at $250.7 million.
For our purposes, I count all salaries and bonuses the year they are paid, so the figures don't always match the ones used by the Associated Press -- which spreads bonuses evenly over the life of the contract -- or MLB, which for luxury tax purposes counts average annual value of everything. We will find out in early December just how much MLB valued the Dodgers' payroll in 2016 when the luxury tax bill is levied, with any amount over $189 million taxed at 50 percent.
Last year, the Dodgers paid a record $43.7 million in luxury tax.
Side note: The Dodgers since I have tracked payroll have always been either well under or (more recently) well over the competitive balance tax threshold. Now, as they move closer toward possibly getting under that mark, I will figure out a way at some point to deal with that, though likely in a separate post rather than as part of our worksheet.
You might notice some oddities, such as $26.3 million for Kenta Maeda, though that includes the $13.4 million paid to the Hiroshima Carp in 2016 (the remaining $6.6 million of his release fee will be paid in 2017). Further details on any of these players can be found on our payroll worksheet.
|Scott Van Slyke||$1,225,000|
|Jose De Leon||$80,423|
|Mike Morse (from Marlins)||($2,562,842)|