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4 years-97.75 million


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Maybe the Yankees could have afforded a pitcher under 30 for that price.

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees got the bill Friday for their disappointing season.

The Yankees were slapped with a $26 million luxury tax by the commissioner's office, raising New York's total to $97.75 million over the past four years.

Boston, which missed the playoffs, was the only other team over the tax threshold and will pay $497,549.

New York hasn't won the World Series since 2000 and was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year. The Yankees paid tax in all four seasons of the just-expired collective-bargaining agreement: $11.8 million in 2003, $26 million in 2004 and $34 million for last year.

Although the Yankees' spending on players may have decreased because of the tax, the team says any dip was slight.

"I would say it has an effect," Yankees president Randy Levine said. "But at the end of the day, it's always been George Steinbrenner's philosophy to win. If a difference-maker is attainable, the Boss goes and gets him."

At the center of labor negotiations in 2002, the luxury tax was paid by only three teams over the four seasons, with the Red Sox owing $7.8 million and the Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels $927,057.

Payments are due at the commissioner's office by Jan. 31. Commissioner Bud Selig concluded the tax achieved the result management wanted.

"I think it did. I really think, frankly, everything that we did pretty well came out to its projection," he said.

New York's bill decreased this year because its payroll, as calculated for the tax, declined from $212.9 million to $201.5 million and the threshold for where the tax began increased from $128 million to $136.5 million. Under the new labor contract, the threshold for the tax rises to $148 million next year.

For luxury tax purposes, the average annual values of contracts are used and benefits are included.

"The luxury tax is not the something the players are in love with because its purpose is to cause people to have an extra cost when they sign a player," union head Donald Fehr said. "Obviously, we were prepared to live with it during the term of the last agreement and we got what we expect will be appropriate modifications this time.

"We didn't really envision specific numbers. What we were hoping was that we would see a circumstance in which it did not have a meaningful adverse effect on the player market, and obviously you have to judge that year by year."

Using the regular method of accounting, the Yankees finished with a $207.5 million payroll for their 40-man roster, according to final figures released Friday by the commissioner's office, up from $206.6 million in 2005.

Boston was a distant second this year at $137.5 million, followed by the New York Mets ($116.6 million), Houston ($107.7 million), the Los Angeles Dodgers ($107.2 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($104 million).

The World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals were 10th at $96.1 million, and the AL champion Detroit Tigers were 14th at $89.8 million.

Florida, last at $21.1 million, had less than half the payroll of Pittsburgh, 28th at $43.4 million. Tampa Bay was in between them at $36.4 million.

Management calculated the average salary at $2,642,915. The players' association, whose calculation method differs slightly, had the average at $2,699,292 in its annual report this week.

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Which is why I'm thrilled that Cashman is calling the Shots. The Yankees of three or four Years ago would have signed Zito, Soriano, Lee, Pettite, Gagne, and D-Mat by now. Smarter spending. I like it.

We will see how long it lasts.

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2 teams paid. 1 team made the playoffs. Who sucks more?

Max, clearly this thread was not started to discuss on the field results and player performance. Please start your own thread if you want to talk about standings and the like;)

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Max, clearly this thread was not started to discuss on the field results and player performance. Please start your own thread if you want to talk about standings and the like;)

HAHAHA!!! True. Good point. I will issue myself a warning for going off-topic. :P

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Imagine if the Yankees paid 51 million to a guy just to say HI!

The baseball world would absolutely lose it's mind. You'd have fans from every market promising a boycott because when a big market team can do that, it just goes to show how broken the game is. When the Sox do it....they're just trying to keep up with the Yankee so it's okay. Who cares...lets play ball dammit.

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an honest question here...how does 1 team pay $26 MILLION in luxury taxes, and the other pay $497K, and then fans of the team that paid $26 MILLION brag about winning the division title, since they both had to pay a luxury tax?

An honest response here. Seriously. We're talking about the Yankees and Red Sox. If the Yankees lowered their payroll to 10 million dollars, and the Sox raised theirs to 200 million, do you honestly belive that Sox fans wouldn't be talking trash if they were to beat us. It's what most fans of these two teams do. When one beats the other it's time for the bragging to begin. Payroll/players/injuries/good luck/bad luck just gets tossed aside and it becomes about the on field performance and the fans the team who had the better season gets to run their mouth for a few months until some new drama unfolds to take it's place. Always has been that way. Always will be that way. JMO.

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Which is why I'm thrilled that Cashman is calling the Shots. The Yankees of three or four Years ago would have signed Zito, Soriano, Lee, Pettite, Gagne, and D-Mat by now. Smarter spending. I like it.

if we signed those players we'd win the world series without a doubt

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if we signed those players we'd win the world series without a doubt

I have no doubt you wold have said the same thing if I'd said a few years ago that we would be adding Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, and Carl Pavano.

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