The Los Angeles Dodgers eventually gave up on the controversial man named Trevor Bauer (32). The problem is that the player gave up, but the salary has to be paid. This could be a major setback for the Dodgers’ offseason plan. It is closely related to the immediate salary as well as the luxury tax (wealth tax) later.
The Dodgers designated Bauer as transfer player (DFA) on the 7th (Korean time). Bauer’s punishment, which was withdrawn by the Major League Secretariat for alleged violence against women, was finalized to 194 games, which was reduced from the original two seasons (324 games) after an appeal from the player’s side. Bauer, who had already been unable to play all of last year’s games, is now open for a comeback this year.
But the Dodgers gave up on Bauer. It is interpreted that he expressed his intention not to drag a controversial player apart from his outstanding skills. Now, Bauer will go through a one-week DFA process, and he’s free unless the team makes a trade or a claim to take over the contract.
In this case, the team that recruits Bauer only has to pay the minimum annual salary of $720,000, and the Dodgers will pay Bauer’s annual salary of about $22.5 million this year. The Dodgers just sit back and blow $22.5 million. Bauer signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers ahead of the 2021 season, but it ended with a tragic contract that he only used for half a season.
The problem lies in the future. If Bauer continues to be suspended until this year as originally scheduled, his salary will not be included in the Dodgers team salary. Because he is not obligated to pay as a punishment. However, as Bauer’s suspension was reduced, he was obliged to somehow pay $22.5 million in his contract salary minus the time he was unable to play due to the suspension.
The Dodgers seem intent on reducing their team payroll while spending this offseason quietly. So far, the annual salary that the Dodgers will have to pay in 2023 to players included in the 26-man roster is about $143 million. Here, the salaries of the players who adjust the salary are added together to get the total salary. If this trend continues, the Dodgers’ total annual salary this year is expected to fall below the luxury tax threshold of about $233 million.
The longer the consecutive period of luxury tax payment, the higher the tax rate. For example, if you exceed the baseline by more than $60 million, you pay 80% in the first year, 90% in the second year, and 110% in the third year. There’s a reason why many teams adjust their salaries to prevent them from passing the luxury tax threshold in consecutive years. For the Dodgers, who paid luxury taxes in both 2021 and 2022, 2023 was the right time to take a break. 안전놀이터
But Bauer’s annual salary of $22.5 million was quickly included. At the same time, ‘Fangraph’ analyzed that the Dodgers’ total salary estimate would be around $232 million, which has risen to the threshold of the luxury tax standard. In other words, now it is possible to exceed the luxury tax standard if only one more B-class player is recruited or even if any player’s incentive is implemented. If the Dodgers decide not to pay the luxury tax, their hands and feet will be tied up in the offseason and trade markets.
According to ‘Fangraph’, assuming that the Dodgers maintain a team salary of $300 million from 2024 to 2026, if they ‘reset’ the luxury tax this year, they will pay a total of $91 million in luxury tax during this period. But if you can’t reset this year, you’ll have to pay $122 million. That’s a difference of over $30 million, which is a lot of money for any team. Bauer’s resurgence from disciplinary action has ironically plagued the Dodgers’ offseason.