Mets Set Luxury-Tax Payroll Record at $299.8M; MLB Payrolls Eclipsed $4.5B in 2022

Doric SamJanuary 19, 2023

FILE - In this July 3, 2020, file photo, balls marked with Cactus League spring training logos are in a basket during Kansas City Royals baseball practice at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Major League Baseball has slightly deadened its baseballs amid a years-long surge in home runs.MLB anticipates the changes will be subtle, and a memo to teams last week cites an independent lab that found the new balls will fly 1 to 2 feet shorter on balls hit over 375 feet. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File

The New York Mets have been known for their big spending in recent years under owner Steve Cohen, and the franchise made history this past season.

Per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, the Mets set a luxury-tax payroll record at $299.8 million, surpassing the $297.9 million payroll of the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers. New York, which hasn't paid the tax since the penalty was implemented in 2003, is one of six teams that was above that threshold this past season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and National League-champion Philadelphia Phillies are the other teams that exceeded the $230 million tax threshold. The six franchises will pay a total of $78 million, topping the previous high of $74 million in 2016.

Coming off a lockout last winter, MLB payrolls totaled a record $4.56 billion, per Blum. The previous mark of $4.25 billion was set in 2017.

The Mets owe $30.8 million in tax, the second-highest figure behind the Dodgers' $32.4 million. New York also had the highest regular payroll this past season at $274.9 million.

Blum noted that New York "boosted its projected tax payroll for 2023 to nearly $400 million." The Mets have doled out massive contracts in recent years and have the two highest-paid players in the majors in starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, both of whom are making $43.3 million annually.

The team had a busy offseason that also included deals with star closer Edwin Diaz and Japanese star pitcher Kodai Senga. It also nearly landed star shortstop Carlos Correa until their agreement fell apart over a medical issue.

Teams have until Friday to make their tax payments to MLB.