May 26th, 2024

Final cost in for Mets’ sorry 2023 season $420 million in payroll plus luxury tax

By Ronald Blum, The Associated Press on May 2, 2024.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, April 4, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) – The final cost of the New York Mets’ sorry 2023 season has been totaled: $420 million.

Major League Baseball finalized its payroll figures for last year, and the Mets finished at a record $319.5 million. In addition to the payroll, New York paid a record luxury tax of $100.8 million after finishing fourth in the NL East at 75-87 – 29 games behind first-place Atlanta and nine games back of the last wild card berth.

New York’s spending would have been even higher if not for summer trades that jettisoned pitchers Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and David Robertson along with other veterans.

The Mets topped the previous payroll high of $291.1 million by the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers, who paid a tax of just over $43.5 million for a total player expense of $334.6 million.

The three-highest spenders all missed the playoffs last year. The New York Yankees were second at $283.8 million, followed by San Diego at $257.2 million.

Philadelphia was fourth at $249.2 million, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at $241.3 million.

World Series champion Texas was sixth at $241.1 million and National League champion Arizona 20th at $128.9 million.

The Toronto Blue Jays were eighth-highest at $217.8 million.

Oakland had the lowest payroll for the second straight season at $62.7 million – less than one-fifth the Mets’ total.

AL East champion Baltimore was 28th at $79.2 million and Tampa Bay, which earned an AL wild card berth, was 27th at $83.8 million.

Payrolls increased 11% to $5.07 billion from $4.56 billion, and MLB calculated the average salary at $4,411,753.

The players’ association, which uses a slightly different methodology, announced its average of $4,525,719 in February.

Payrolls are based on 2023 salaries, earned bonuses and escalators, option buyouts and prorated shares of signing bonuses for 40-man rosters, and cash transactions in trades are factored in the calculations. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted to reflect present-day values.

They differ from luxury tax payrolls, which are based on average annual values and also include benefits. The Mets set a luxury tax payroll record of $374.7 million.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com

With a file from The Canadian Press

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