The price of a World Series championship has come due for the Boston Red Sox in the form of a historic luxury-tax bill.
The team's 2018 payroll finished some $40 million over the luxury-tax threshold, and the Red Sox are now reportedly on the hook for almost $12 million in penalties, according to calculations from the commissioner's office obtained by The Associated Press.
Boston's tax tab is so excessive that it made a little history and triggered a new penalty put in place last year. Because the club finished more than $40 million over the threshold, Boston's first pick in the 2019 MLB Draft - 33rd overall - will drop 10 places.
MLB's luxury tax threshold for 2018 was set at $197 million, while the draft-pick penalty kicked in at $237 million. The Red Sox left the former figure in the dust, fielding a total payroll of $227,398,860 last year, per Spotrac; when adjusted for tax purposes, their payroll came in at approximately $239.5 million, the AP reports, which triggered the draft-pick penalty.
Tax figures include both base salaries, bonuses, and all options and/or buyouts exercised, plus salaries for any players acquired in-season. Boston's already large payroll spiked significantly with the signing of J.D. Martinez in spring training; Ian Kinsler, Nathan Eovaldi, and Steve Pearce were among the midseason acquisitions that helped the team to a championship and ballooned its bill to these heights.
Word of Boston's historic bill comes just a few days after it was reported that the team was looking to trim payroll, and would listen to offers on some of its big-league stars. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski downplayed that notion, however, stating that his team's 2019 roster is "basically settled."
Only one other team, the Washington Nationals, will pay a tax this year, though it's a comparative pittance - the Nationals barely surpassed the threshold and owe approximately $2.38 million. The New York Yankees, meanwhile, finished below the threshold for the first time in 15 years and have now reset their tax line.
Next year's tax threshold will rise to $206 million, according to the AP.