The Yankees missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 seasons, but the price tag again was steep. They wound up with a $28-million bill for exceeding the luxury-tax threshold in 2013, according to The Associated Press.
Since 2003, when the penalty on high payrolls was introduced, the Yankees have paid more than $250 million in luxury tax.
The only other offender this year was the Dodgers, who must write a check to the commissioner's office for $11.4 million. The Red Sox, who won the World Series, finished less than $300,000 below the $179-million threshold for last season.
The Yankees, with a $237-million payroll this past year, finished with the highest in the majors for the 15th straight season. By going above the threshold for four straight seasons, the Yankees owe a 50-percent tax on the amount over -- the Dodgers were taxed only 17.5 percent -- and their penalty alone was almost as much as the entire 2013 payroll for the Astros, who spent $29.3 million on their entire team.
The luxury-tax threshold rises to $189 million for this coming season, and the Yankees have talked so much about trying to stay below that mark because of the relief it would provide in 2015. Rather than pay at their current 50-percent rate, it would reset to 17.5 percent for going over in 2015, and only 30 percent for the next two years, giving them a huge break if they chose to spend freely again.