Dodgers News: 2015 Tax Bill Comes In At Record $43.7 Million
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Guggenheim group took control of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, payroll and adding to it has seemingly been a non-issue.

It was clear as day when that August the Dodgers completed a nine-player trade with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.

The trade was the largest in Dodgers franchise history as it added over $250 million in salary to their books.

Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten has since spoke of a roster that will sustain itself from prospects brought up through the organization, which is a vision team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman also shares.

Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly recently said the club would benefit from moving closer to a ‘league-average’ payroll. While reduced spending may be in the years ahead, the Dodgers must first concern themselves with a hefty luxury tax bill for the 2015 season.

According to Bob Nigthengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Dodgers had a payroll just under $300 million and will pay nearly $44 million in luxury tax penalty:

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay a record $43.7 million luxury tax penalty after finishing the 2015 season with the largest payroll in baseball history at $298.3 million, according to salary information obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

The New York Yankees ($26 million), Boston Red Sox ($1.87 million) and San Francisco Giants ($1.33 million) were also hit with a luxury tax penalty.

This marks the third consecutive season the Dodgers exceeded the competitive balance tax threshold — set at $189 million — where it will remain for the 2016 season as well.

As such, Los Angeles was charged a 40 percent tax rate for the amount they were over the $189 million mark. The Dodgers are all but guaranteed to exceed the threshold again next season.

Although much was made of their payroll last season, a significant portion of it went to players who were no longer on the roster.

Brian Wilson was designated for assignment in December 2014 and paid $9.5 million. With a $7.5 million salary, fellow reliever Brandon League suffered the same fate in July.

Dee Gordon’s and Dan Haren’s salaries were paid as part of the trade with the Miami Marlins. Plus, the Dodgers sent $18 million to the San Diego Padres to cover a portion of Matt Kemp’s salary.

All told, the Dodgers were paying just over $85 million by the end of July for players no longer with the team. Their $43.7 luxury tax bill is the highest in MLB history, easily topping the $34.1 million paid by the Yankees in 2005.

The Dodgers must pay the competitive balance tax to MLB offices by Jan. 21, 2016.